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    Botha starts for Bulls

    2015-04-09 11:05

    Pretoria - Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has named his team to tackle the Reds in a Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday (19:10 kick-off).

    Ludeke made two changes to his starting pack from the team that lost 22-18 to the Lions in Johannesburg last weekend.

    Springbok flank Arno Botha has recovered from injury and is selected to start, replacing Hanro Liebenberg in the No 7 jersey, with Liebenberg moving down to the bench.

    Botha recovered from a hamstring strain, with Liebenberg replacing Roelof Smit on the bench.

    In the one other change to the starting line-up, Callie Visagie replaces Springbok Adriaan Strauss at hooker, with the latter given a rest in compliance the Springbok rest agreement with the five SA franchises. This will be Visagie's first start of the season. His place on the bench will be taken by Jaco Visagie, who on two previous occasions this season did bench duty.

    Another new face on the bench is that of Flip van der Merwe, who replaces Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg. Van der Merwe missed the first half of the season due to a pectoral muscle tear, but is keen to add to his 72 caps in the competition.

    "It is great to have Flip back," said Ludeke.

    "He does not only provide a physical presence and some real grunt up front, he is also an important leader in the squad and with Victor (Matfield) out for a couple of weeks, Flip's return could not come at a better time."

    The coach also opted to give Handre Pollard and Jan Serfontein another week off, with the latter also rested due to the SARU arrangement.

    "We have some big games and a tour coming up and I would like both of them to be 100% fit for that. Both Jacques-Louis (Potgieter) and Burger (Odendaal) played well when called upon and I am happy to give them another opportunity. You need your whole squad to contribute to be successful in this competition," continued Ludeke.

    Bulls captain Pierre Spies was adamant that their low log position does not mean that the Reds will be easy opponents.

    "They are desperate to get their season going and teams like that are always dangerous. They have some classy players in their team and if they are on song on the day, they can destroy you in a blink. We will have to play all the big moments well, but will also have to force our style of play on them and dictate the terms. That will require commitment and discipline," said Spies.

    Meanwhile, Bulls prop Trevor Nyakane will play in his 50th Super Rugby match on Saturday, with 42 of those appearances coming in the colours of the Cheetahs.



    15. Jesse Kriel, 14. Francois Hougaard, 13. JJ Engelbrecht, 12. Burger Odendaal, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9. Rudy Paige, 8. Pierre Spies (captain), 7. Arno Botha, 6. Deon Stegmann, 5. Grant Hattingh, 4. Jacques du Plessis, 3. Trevor Nyakane, 2. Callie Visagie, 1. Dean Greyling

    Substitutes: 16. Jaco Visagie, 17. Morné Mellett, 18. Marcel van der Merwe, 19. Flip van der Merwe, 20. Hanro Liebenberg, 21. Piet van Zyl, 22. Tian Schoeman, 23. Jurgen Visser


    15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Anthony Fainga’a, 11 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 10 Nick Frisby, 9 Will Genia, 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Curtis Browning, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Dave McDuling, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Saia Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper

    Substitutes: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sef Faagase, 19 Marco Kotze, 20 Tom Murday, 21 Adam Korczyk, 22 Ben Tapuai, 23 Chris Kuridrani

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