Emerging Bulls forward Simphiwe Matanzima ready to go after recovering from injury

01 December 2021 - 16:59
By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Bulls forward Simphiwe Matanzima is raring to go again after overcoming injuries.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images Bulls forward Simphiwe Matanzima is raring to go again after overcoming injuries.

After recovering from a career-threatening injury, emerging Bulls forward Simphiwe Matanzima is ready to go for the remainder of the United Rugby Championship (URC) campaign.

Since making his Super Rugby debut in 2019 against the Stormers, the loose-head prop dislocated his shoulder and tore his Achilles tendon which threatened his promising career.

He is in the reckoning for a starting berth for the Bulls when they continue their URC campaign against the Sharks at Kings Park on Friday night.

“It is nice to be back after being out for so long,” 24-year-old Matanzima said as the Bulls prepared for the trip to Durban.

“I am coming into a new system and culture where I am experiencing and enjoying the game again. It feels good to be back and I can’t wait to put on that Bulls jersey and get on with business.”

The Bulls boast one of the best forward packs on the domestic scene and Matanzima attributed that to former Bulls scrum coach Daan Human.

“He left a lot of stuff that we still follow to this day. Obviously when he was still the scrum coach we had the best scrum in the competition, but we have improved since he left.

“This year we were at the top during the Currie Cup. I think we are all improving as front row coach Russell Winter is doing a good job with us. We are all looking to improve and get better every time.”

Another player who is going to play a vital role for the Bulls this season is 23-year-old hooker Johan Grobbelaar, who is itching for action after spending time with the Springboks during the Rugby Championship.

“It was a great opportunity to be part of the Springboks set-up. I was very surprised and excited to get the call-up and it was great to see how the system works.

“But now I’m looking forward to playing for the Bulls and getting some game time.”

Grobbelaar plans to use the URC to continue impressing Springbok coaches.

“The next step comes with time. For now, one just needs to do what they need to do every week and play good rugby, because there are a lot of good hookers at the moment.

“My focus now is to continue playing and doing well for the Vodacom Bulls, then any other opportunity can follow. Just to get some game time and be on the field is very important for now. If I can play consistently week in, week out, my chance will come.”