Flip fit to face Waratahs
Pretoria - Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe has been passed fit to face the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday and will lead the team for their third tour match to Australasia.
This will be the first of two matches the Bulls will play in Australia as part of their Super Rugby tour.
Van der Merwe got injured in last weekend’s bonus point loss to the Highlanders in Dunedin, but has recovered sufficiently from his arm injury to lead the team.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke
named the same starting team that played in Dunedin, but made one change on the bench, where Rudy Paige
will act as scrumhalf cover. Should Paige take to the field it will be his first appearance in the competition this year.
“We are very keen to get back on the winning trail. We had opportunities in Napier and Dunedin, but could not convert enough of those to secure us victory. We have played well in patches, so will be looking for a solid performance in Sydney,” said Ludeke.
“We realise we are facing one of the leading teams in the competition in the Waratahs, who has been playing great rugby this season, but also know that we are very hard to beat if we stay in our structures, rhythm and manage to keep the ball.”
Van der Merwe said they owe it to themselves to deliver on Saturday.
“We are desperate for a win and the only way we will achieve that is by showing up and playing to our potential on Saturday. We have ambitions in this tournament, but we need to make a stronger statement about that than we have done up to now."
Kick-off for Saturday's match is scheduled for 11:40 (SA time).Teams:Waratahs:
15 Jurgen Visser
, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 JJ Engelbrecht
, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Francois Hougaard
, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Piet van Zyl, 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 Bongi Mbonambi
, 17 Marcel van der Merwe, 18 Morné Mellett, 19 Paul Willemse
, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Rudy Paige
, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 William Small-Smith