Director of rugby Jake White has backed Johan Goosen to help spark the Vodacom Bulls backline, after naming the injury-plagued playmaker to face Zebre on Saturday.
Goosen slots in at 10 alongside scrumhalf Embrose Papier as part of a formidable Bulls starting XV in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash in Johannesburg.
It will be his first start in the 2022-23 URC since recovering from shoulder surgery seven weeks ago, and returns as the sixth-placed Bulls look to fortify their bid for a playoff spot in the first match of a thrilling double-header at Ellis Park.
Speaking at a Bulls conference on Friday, White told reporters: “I signed him on a long-term contract, he’s here until 2026. Through injury he has been in and out, but part of my brief is to get him to play his best rugby. I’ve seen him playing in France and he was a Player of the Tournament twice in the Top 14.
“The bottom line is he has come back from another injury … he has had some time under his belt [in the Currie Cup] and I need to get him back to where I know he can get to.
“Obviously if he is playing his best rugby and is combining with guys like Canan [Moodie] and Kurt-Lee [Arendse], and Embrose Papier who played really well last week as well, then all of a sudden you’ve got four Springboks in your backline.
“And I’ve said it many times, when you get that sort of experience and that caliber of players playing together, it gives you a chance in big games. He’s back now and I can’t wait to see how he goes tomorrow.”
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