Prop Jacques van Rooyen says he has made the shift across the scrum to tighthead as the Vodacom Bulls look to solve their set-piece issues this season.
The Bulls currently sit second from bottom on the Vodacom United Rugby Championship log, having won just one of their opening six games to date.
Their most recent loss came against the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld, and experienced prop Van Rooyen said the team has had to do some soul-searching this week.
“We were disappointed with the performance we had on the weekend,” Van Rooyen told IOL. “We took a good, hard and long look at ourselves and the way that we wanted to play. Obviously, we didn’t get to do that.
“We have tried to get back to the basics and to make sure that everyone is on par and everyone is on the same page to make sure that in the following games coming up, we are up to standard, that we start well and not make life difficult for ourselves by unnecessarily chasing games.”
The Bulls have had their fair share of problems at the scrum this season, considered a traditional pillar of strength.
The departure of Springbok tighthead Trevor Nyakane to France has not helped, as the Bulls have lacked depth in the position.
The result is that Van Rooyen has been shifted from loosehead to tighthead prop, a switch he is fully committed to.
“I think I have made the mind-shift,” Van Rooyen explained. “I’ve spoken to the coaches a while back and they also said they are keen to keep me at tighthead. I’ve made the mind-shift, so I like to see myself as a tighthead now and no longer as a loosehead. The coaches know that anytime they need me to go back to loosehead, it won’t be an issue.
“I just want to play and wherever the team needs me to play, I will be ready to play. For now the heart and mind has changed. As a tighthead prop, I’m eating an extra plate of food at every lunch and dinner to make sure the weight stays up.”
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