Get the Sport24 daily newsletter delivered to your Inbox!


    Returning Boks boost Bulls

    2013-04-10 12:36
    Pretoria - The Bulls team to play the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday (kick-off is at 19:10) has been bolstered by the return of two experienced campaigners, with Akona Ndungane and Flip van der Merwe back in the starting line-up.

    Ndungane has recovered from the eye socket injury sustained against the Crusaders four weeks ago and will start in his 87th Super Rugby match for the three-time champions, while Van der Merwe, who picked up a chest muscle injury in the same Christchurch clash, will appear in his 53rd Super Rugby match, with six of those in Cheetahs colours earlier in his career.

    They replace Jürgen Visser and Paul Willemse respectively, with Visser taking over at fullback from injured Zane Kirchner and Willemse moving to the bench.

    Bulls coach Frans Ludeke also made a tactical switch from the side that suffered a last gasp defeat against the Brumbies two weeks ago, with Frik Kirsten starting at tighthead and veteran prop Werner Kruger playing off the bench.

    “We are happy with the squad rotation and with a couple of stalwarts still out injured, has given some of our youngsters good opportunities to play,” Ludeke said.

    “We feel that we left some points on the road, but now have a good stretch back home where we play ourselves back into those important playoff positions,” Ludeke said.

    “The rest did wonders to all and I am pleased with the way we prepared for this one.”

    The match could also see a first Bulls appearance for scrumhalf Rudy Paige and utility back Ulrich Beyers, while Lions loan player Callie Visagie has been drafted in to give Willie Wepener a rest.

    With Francois Hougaard still nursing an ankle injury, Paige will back-up Jano Vermaak and Beyers will replace Francois Venter as a backline replacement.

    Bulls captain Pierre Spies admitted that it will be good playing in front of their home support again.

    “We will certainly need all the support we can get against a Cheetahs side that is playing with a lot of confidence and momentum. History counts for nothing in this one, so past performances will have no bearing on this clash. We will have to front up from the first minute of play to the last. The Cheetahs play for 80 minutes and we need to make sure we play our style and on our terms.”



    15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Lionel Mapoe, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8  Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Morné Mellet

    Substitutes: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Paul Willemse, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Louis Fouchè, 22 Ulrich Beyers



    Read More On:  bulls super 15 rugby

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Comments have been closed for this article.
    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    No results are available

    Opinion Poll

    Which South African franchise stands the best chance of winning this year's Super Rugby title?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.