Bulls assistant coach Pieter Rossouw believes that the Pretoria side have the talent, if not the experience, to replace their departing stars.
Stalwarts Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Danie Rossouw, Gary Botha and Fourie du Preez have all left the successful franchise and it is time for new faces to step into the Super Rugby spotlight.
The backline coach believes Francois Hougaard can fill the void left by Du Preez, while there is enough talent in Pretoria that just needs some top flight experience.
"We've lost some players who were the best in their position not just at the Bulls, but in the country and in some cases in the world," he told this website.
"We do have some impressive youngsters coming through to replace them who are just as talented, but we might lack some experience next year."
In particular the Bulls have identified centre as an area that needs to be bolstered and, with Jaco Pretorius having retired, there is a gap in the midfield.
Francois Venter looks to be the front runner to partner Wynand Olivier, while a host of talented schoolboy stars including Jan Serfontein and Dries Swanepoel (both SA Schools) are also now on the books at the Bulls.
"The junior system is very good and there is a great opportunity for our youngsters to make their mark next year and there are already a lot of youngsters in our Super Rugby squad," Rossouw added.
"If you can make it physically at Super Rugby then we don't mind giving any new player the chance to show us what he can do."
Rossouw has just completed the IRB Level III coaching course in Stellenbosch together with a number of top provincial coaches and will return to the Bulls with some new ideas.
"I have really enjoyed the course and feel like I've learnt a lot to take back with me to the Bulls," he said.
"A lot of coaches are happy to share their ideas [in the professional era] and we can learn from each other about how best to interact with players so that we don't always just tell them what to do, but rather involve them in decisions and approach problems in the right way."
By Timmy Hancox
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