It is believed that Bulls flyhalf Johan Goosen contracted Covid-19 while on his farm in the Eastern Cape, with the team given the weekend off following their Friday night win over WP.
CAPE TOWN – The Bulls will have to tackle the Sharks in Saturday’s Currie Cup final without chief playmaker Johan Goosen.
The 29-year-old pivot, who starred once more in last week’s 48-31 semi-final victory over Western Province, has contracted Covid-19.
Bulls coach Jake White confirmed Goosen’s withdrawal from the final with IOL Sport on Tuesday night.
It is believed that Goosen contracted the virus while on his farm in the Eastern Cape, with the team given the weekend off following their Friday night game against WP.
But the rest of the Bulls squad have not been affected, and are all available for selection for the Loftus Versfeld decider (5pm kick-off).
Goosen has been in irresistible form since joining the Bulls a few months ago, and has brought a fresh dimension to their attack – which led to White comparing him to Wallaby legend Stephen Larkham for the way in which he is able to unlock defences with his passing game.
But while Goosen’s absence is a significant dent in the Bulls backline, White will be confident that Chris Smith can step up in the No.10 jersey.
The former Pumas and Maties flyhalf is a dependable goal-kicker, while he has enough top-level provincial experience to handle the pressure of a Currie Cup final.
He will face formidable competition, though, from ace Sharks tactical kickers Lionel Cronjé and Curwin Bosch.
White is set to announce his match-23 on Friday.