Flip back, Pollard demoted
Pretoria - Regular Bulls captain, Flip van der Merwe, is back at the helm of the team to face the Brumbies in a Super Rugby match in Pretoria on Friday (19:10 kick-off).
Van der Merwe missed three matches due to suspension and is one of three changes to the side that beat the Stormers two weeks ago.
Van der Merwe replaces Paul Willemse
in the No 4 jumper while Werner Kruger
rotates at tighthead prop with Marcel van der Merwe.
Jacques-Louis Potgieter swops the bench and the No 10 jersey with Handré Pollard in the only change at the back.
Wimpie van der Walt makes way for Willemse on the bench, while Ulrich Beyers
also comes in as a subsitute in place of William Small-Smith
, who is ill.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke
welcomed Van der Merwe back into the fold.
"Flip's leadership is very important to the team and as a senior player he does set an excellent example. We will need to be at our best in facing a Brumbies side that has played some great rugby this year. We have made slight changes for the match and rotated certain players and I believe we will be competitive come Friday."
Van der Merwe is keen to get back into action.
"We are well rested following a bye last week and we trained well this week. It is important to start the match with a lot of energy and I believe everyone will do so. We don't look ahead in the competition, but know how important a win will be with regards to a possible play-off spot," said Van der Merwe said.Teams:Bulls:
15 Jurgen Visser
, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht
, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson
, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard
, 8 Grant Hattingh
, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross
, 5 Victor Matfield
, 4 Flip van der Merwe (captain), 3 Werner Kruger
, 2 Callie Visagie
, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Bongo Mbonambi, 17 Morné Mellett, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Paul Willemse
, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Ulrich Beyers Brumbies:
• Victor Matfield
will extend his South African record for Super Rugby appearances to 136 and will extend his record as most capped Bulls player in the competition to 128.
• Bulls coach Frans Ludeke
will also extend his record as most most experienced South African coach at this level to 129 matches.
• Akona Ndungane (105) and Werner Kruger
(104) will extend their Bulls records as the most capped wing and prop respectively.