Bulls players and management staff vaccinated ahead of overseas trip to face Italy's Benetton Treviso

14 June 2021 - 14:54
By mahlatse mphahlele AND Mahlatse Mphahlele
Bulls coach Jake White.
Image: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images Bulls coach Jake White.

The Bulls players and management staff have been vaccinated before their trip to the cross-hemisphere Pro14 Rainbow Cup final against Italian side Benetton Treviso at the Stadio di Monigo on Saturday.

Benetton Treviso will be representing the northern hemisphere, while the Bulls will represent the southern hemisphere after winning the South African leg of the competition by beating the Sharks 34-22 in Durban on Saturday.

Bulls coach Jake White said they have received their jabs but there will be further tests in the build-up to the match in Treviso.

“As it stands now, we have been part of the Sisonke vaccination programme, so we have ticked that box,” said White.

“But obviously, there will be Covid-19 protocols in terms of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, which we will do in the morning, and the results come back from the laboratory on Monday. Hopefully everything will be fine and we get on the plane on Monday night.

“We have ticked all the boxes and we will probably get tested there as well, but the plan is to make sure that nobody gets Covid-19 on the trip there. As I said, we have ticked all the boxes and I am sure the medical staff that we have here at the Bulls are on top of that.”

White added that it is exciting to have the opportunity of taking on Benetton Treviso after they dominated the domestic scene during Super Rugby Unlocked, the Preparation Series, the Currie Cup and the Rainbow Cup.

“I don’t think it is a reward, I think is an exciting time for everybody,” he added.

“The whole of South Africa is keen to see a different game compared to the local derbies that we have played. Through circumstance we have had to play each other so many times, in the Super Rugby Unlocked, the Preparation Series, the Rainbow Cup or the Currie Cup.

“I don’t think it is a reward, it is great for South African rugby. I just saw Sharks coach Sean Everitt now downstairs and he said to me, ‘Go win it for South Africa'. The reality is that everyone in South Africa wants to see something different and this is a chance for us.

“We want to play in the north fixture and that has been happening behind the scenes at SA Rugby, and this is a chance to be the first team to play in the north and measure ourselves against the competition there.

" I am looking forward to taking this team and seeing how good we are when playing against a team that is unbeaten in the Rainbow Cup.”

There are some logistics to be sorted out before they fly out on Monday night and White indicated that they may be travelling to Venice via Paris or Amsterdam.