Jake doesn't want 'overnight rock stars'

rugby29 February 2024 14:42| © SuperSport
By:Brenden Nel
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Jake White © Gallo Images

The Vodacom Bulls have moved to warn players who were selected for the Springbok alignment camps “not to do anything different” to what they have already been doing for the side.

As the Bulls gear up to face the DHL Stormers in their massive derby game at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, coach Jake White said that the invites to a dozen Bulls players for the Bok alignment camp next week could almost be seen at times as a curse instead of a blessing.

White recounted the story of players - and mentioned Elrigh Louw by name - who were invited to previous camps and tried to do too much on their return, which ended up hurting the team’s cause.

For that reason, he has told the players not to try anything special in their Vodacom United Rugby Championship match this weekend but rather concentrate on their roles in the team environment.

“I don’t think you can read too much into alignment camps. A lot of boys went to alignment camps over the last three years and never played. I think the message is, don’t do anything different, just keep playing well for the Bulls and you don’t have to try and become a rock star overnight,” White explained.

“You were picked for a certain reason and they see qualities within you. And one of the things we probably haven’t been good with is because we’ve seen in the last couple of seasons when we’ve let guys go, that they probably think they need to play extraordinary big games to get a nod and that probably burnt us a bit by doing that.

“You often get a guy who is not good at certain things and he thinks if he does that in big games, he will get selected. Early on when we got the list I told them, I didn’t wait until this week to tell them and they have known for a month that they are going.

“So now they can just focus on doing what they can do well.”

The game is heading for a sell-out crowd as the Bulls try and reverse a seven-game losing streak against their Cape rivals.