Spies set for 50th Bulls cap
Hamilton - Bulls forwards Pierre Spies and Gurthrö Steenkamp will play their 50th Super Rugby matches when their injury battered side takes the field in Hamilton on Friday against the Chiefs in a repeat of last year’s final.
Kick-off is at 09:35 SA time.
With the Bulls missing Jaco Pretorius (fractured eye socket) and Derick Kuün (ankle ligaments), coach Frans Ludeke was forced to make a few changes to the 22-man squad which lost against the Blues in Auckland last weekend.
The team was greeted by cold and rain in Hamilton, and will prepare themselves for a freezing game on Friday in wet conditions, but at least are comforted that Pretorius's replacement, Stephan Dippenaar, performed well in the backline earlier this season when Pretorius was out before.
Scrumhalf Heini Adams also returns to the bench in the place of Kuün as the Bulls revert to a more traditional four-three bench for the clash, which is vitally important in the context of their overseas tour.
The Bulls will want to bounce back quickly after their loss to the Blues, a game which was their first defeat in 13 outings and where they played well below the standards they set themselves as a team.
Both Spies and Steenkamp, who are two of the form forwards of the competition this season, will run out early but Kuün’s absence means he will miss out for this week at least in achieving his half century for the team. He currently has 49 Super Rugby caps.
15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Stephan Dippenaar, 12. Wynand Olivier, 11. Francois Hougaard, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Fourie du Preez, 8. Pierre Spies, 7. Dewald Potgieter, 6. Deon Stegmann, 5. Victor Matfield (captain), 4. Danie Rossouw, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Gary Botha, 1. Gurthrö Steenkamp
Substitutes: 16. Bandise Maku, 17. Bees Roux, 18. Flip van der Merwe, 19. Pedrie Wannenburg, 20. Heini Adams, 21. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22. Jaco van der Westhuyzen