Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

While all the focus should be on Embrose Papier and the work he needs to put in for the Blue Bulls this weekend‚ the attention will always invariably shift to his time with the Springboks.

Papier spent a fair bit of time on the bench as Faf de Klerk's understudy during the Rugby Championships but got some time to show his wares at Loftus Versfeld against the All Blacks.

He should be trotting out for his union for Saturday's North/South derby against Western Province.

Papier said he fielded a lot of questions in regards to his lack of game time with the Boks but said he took in a lot of lessons in his time with the national team.

“It was quite frustrating because everyone was asking me as to why am I not playing but I just learnt a lot while I was with the Springboks.

"I just focussed on the game plan and I was told to take things slowly.

"It's been a big year but I've taken it step for step. I've just followed the game plan‚” Papier said.

“There's a lot that I've learnt with the Springboks and what we've learnt in the internationals now has to be applied in other spheres because we played against the best in the world and now we have to apply that back in the Currie Cup.

"We have to have positive mindset.”

Saturday's game is a crucial one for Pote Human's side.

They may be third on the log (17 points) but the meeting between the Golden Lions (16) and the Pumas (12) on Friday night in Mbombela could work in two ways for them.

A bonus point win for the Pumas and no points for Lions means the former may have to book flights to Cape Town or Durban.

If the latter wins or gets points from the game‚ the Bulls will be safe from a play-off perspective but could also deny the rampant Western Province side (25) from finishing first.

The Sharks (21) are expected to take care of the Griquas in Kimberly on Saturday afternoon but the Western Province/Blue Bulls game is never cut and dried.

Papier said they need to be at their best to deal with Western Province's threat.

The Blue Bulls will also be boosted by the returns of Trevor Nyakane‚ Marco van Staden and Ivan van Zyl from Bok duty while Western Province will be significantly strengthened by the returns of Wilco Louw‚ Bongi Mbonambi‚ Sikhumbuzo Notshe‚ Damian Willemse and Ruhan Nel.

“The Currie Cup is a difficult competition and everyone wants to win the trophy. We had two games against the Lions and the Sharks where things didn't quite go our way. Looking ahead to this weekend‚ we need to be very good‚” Papier said.

“Sometimes I've watched the games.

"I watched the Lions game against the Bulls and watched a few of the Western Province games but I do think the boys are ready for them.”

- TimesLIVE