Cape Town - Bulls coach Frans Ludeke says he is "delighted" with the positive attitude his returning Springboks have shown ahead of their Super Rugby clash against the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Captain Pierre Spies, Wynand Olivier, Francois Hougaard, Morné Steyn, Bjorn Basson, Jacques Potgieter, Juandré Kruger, Flip van der Merwe and Werner Kruger were all part of the Springbok match-day 22 against England in Port Elizabeth last week.
It was a bruising Test and series, therefore Ludeke gave them a day off on Monday to recuperate. But they again hit the ground running on Tuesday and all of them were included in the starting team for the Cheetahs clash.
"They bring something special to the team," he told Beeld
The Bulls have lost their last three matches and the coach feels the three-week break may just have provided the perfect tonic to get their groove back. "The break was important to recuperate. Maybe it was just what we needed," he said.
He is confident they can overcome their recent losses and improve on their fifth overall log
“It was small margins and we were competitive until the end," he told SAPA.
“It is more important how we kick-on from here, because that is in the past.
“We want to be more accurate and we need an all-round game going into the Cheetahs match.”Teams:
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Dewald Potgieter, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Francois VenterCheetahs:
15. Willie le Roux, 14. Philip Snyman, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Rocco Jansen, 10. Riaan Smit, 9. Piet van Zyl, 8. Ashley Johnson, 7. Pieter Labuschagne, 6. Heinrich Brussow, 5. Izak van der Merwe, 4. Andries Ferreira, 3. Marcel van der Merwe, 2. Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1. Trevor Nyakane
Substitutes: 16. Hercu Liebenberg, 17. WP Nel, 18. George Earl, 19. Justin Downey 20. Tewis de Bruyn, 21. Sias Ebersohn, 22. Nico Scheepers