Victor Matfield will revert to his coaching role in the Bulls camp and will not play during their four-match tour of Australasia.
The Bulls left for their month-long tour - during which they will face the Hurricanes, Highlanders, Waratahs and Force - on Tuesday.
The veteran lock revealed that the plan was to keep him fresh, in line with the long-term goal of making a comeback for the Springboks in June.
"We've said from the start I'm going to be managed," Matfield told Supersport.
"This was the plan all the time, and when I came back, we spoke to the other locks as well and said this is where they will get their opportunity to play as well.
"I've been the coach for the whole time but it's pretty much the same, I'll still tour as a coach and I'll still be involved in the training sessions. I'll keep myself ready for that first game back."
Matfield will concentrate on his role as forwards and attack coach while Flip van der Merwe will take over the captaincy as he returns from injury.