Left barren by a mass exodus of star players, the Bulls look set for a challenging Super Rugby season as the new breed begin to forge a new future, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.
Twelve months removed from the start of a campaign that saw the Pretoria franchise return to prominence and make their first playoff appearance since 2013, the three-time champions find themselves in a completely different state.
Of course, the main objective of every team is to claim the cup, and while the Bulls will be full of belief, the loss of Springboks Schalk Brits, RG Snyman, Lood de Jager, Duane Vermeulen, Handré Pollard and Jason Jenkins (along with a host of others) have left Loftus looking like the Colisseum a day after a bloody battle.
Pote Human, the only South African coach to survive after a lukewarm collective showing by local teams in 2019, has to pick up the pieces and build an army with the largely young, wide-eyed warriors that are left.
It’s a tough task, one that requires Human to devise a smart, tactical battle plan build around the veteran war dogs that remain – captain Burger Odendaal, Springbok brutes Lizo Gqoboka and Trevor Nyakane, and marquee recruits Juandré Kruger, Josh Strauss and Morné Steyn.