Jan-Hendrik Wessels, the young Vodacom Bulls’ prop-cum-hooker, has undoubtedly been one of the side’s jewel revelations this season.
The 20-year-old, who made his way straight from high school to Montpelier in France before signing for the Vodacom Bulls, is expected to play a key role in the Tshwane-based side’s Carling Currie Cup final conquest when they take on the Cell C Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Wessels has been a standout performer on the Vodacom Bulls’ road to the final, where he has earned himself a few Champion of the Match awards.
Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, has been at the forefront of widespread praise for the youngster who started his playing career at prop before being switched to hooker at the Vodacom Bulls, and being touted as a future Springbok.
“I’m just enjoying getting some game time at the moment,” Wessels responds to the admiration.
“It’s really good to have a coach that backs you. Coach Jake understands the players and has the ability to bring out the best in us.”
Wessels is intent on focusing on the present to avoid distractions of placing his sights too far ahead.
“I’m still young and I have a lot of time ahead of me, so I do not want to be looking too far ahead,” he says.
“For now, it’s all about learning and enjoying the game.
Wessels is eager to contribute to a successful Carling Currie Cup campaign with one more stellar performance when they meet the Cell C Sharks this weekend. He is aware of the importance of set-pieces, particularly scrums, in the upcoming showdown.
“The scrums will definitely be a big part of the final. We definitely do not want to be losing scrums in such a crucial match,” he says.
“We have been working hard on our scrums throughout the season. It has always been a strong point in our game, so we want to continue in that manner.”
The Vodacom Bulls will name the team for the final on Thursday. The match will kick-off at 17h00 on Saturday, and it will be televised on SuperSport.