Kriel: Mitchell's mentorship 'a step up'

Cape Town - Springbok and Bulls midfielder Jesse Kriel says he enjoys the approach John Mitchell has brought to the Pretoria franchise.

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Kriel got his first bit of action in 2018 when he came on in the second half of last Saturday’s 21-12 warm-up win over the Jaguares in Pretoria.

The 23-year-old set up a try for team-mate Warrick Gelant when he broke through the Jaguares defence in spectacular fashion.

“Warrick’s try was the result of the game plan that Mitch brought in. The idea is to work hard and to put yourself in such positions on the field. I think we’ll see more of that this season,” Kriel told Netwerk24.

Kriel described Mitchell’s mentorship as “refreshing” at this stage of his career - he boasts 29 Test caps for the Boks.

“It’s definitely a step up from what we’re used to. You learn something new every day and the players want to come here every day to improve. I think the players enjoy it.”

While attempting to get the Bulls to adopt a more attacking approach, Mitchell earlier stressed that he wouldn't deviate from the team's traditional strengths.

"I think we will still be traditional, still be strong in our set-piece, and we’re always seeking to play better attacking rugby but you also have to be able to go without the ball as well and be comfortable with that and present yourself opportunities,” Mitchell told earlier this month.

The Bulls have a bye this weekend and will open their 2018 Super Rugby campaign at home against the Hurricanes on Saturday, February 24 (17:15 kick-off).