Spies expects 'physical war'
Cape Town - Bulls captain Pierre Spies says their Super Rugby opener against the Sharks will be like any other clash between the two teams: A physical war.
Both teams have a fair number of new faces in their squads, as they introduce a new crop of talent into Super Rugby.
But Spies told the Beeld newspaper that the "usual confrontations" will be the same as in years gone by.
"It's going to be a physical war," said Spies.
But he's confident that the troops are ready for the battle ahead.
"We're approaching the match with a good energy. We've worked hard to get here, now we have to take the next step and put all the hard work done on the practice field into action."
Meanwhile, Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said even thought they have some new faces in the team, a few old aspects of their game and personnel will remain.
"Our technical decision makers are full of confidence and find themselves in the most important positions on the field. Not much has changed in the way we want to do things. There are fresh ideas, but the old values have remained intact," said Ludeke.
The coach did, however, admit that the Sharks' current form is a bit of a mystery.
"We couldn't gain much for the Sharks' pre-season because it was tough to judge the quality of their opposition (The Sharks played against Boland and the Kings in pre-season matches).
"But it isn't hard to predict that they will carry the ball, attempt to get it into space and then keep it there," said Ludeke.
And Ludeke believes the game will be won by the team that dominates the advantage line.
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jaques Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandre 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 Fouche, 22 JJ Engelbrecht
Sharks: 15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Louis Ludik, 13. JP Pietersen, 12. Tim Whitehead, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Frederic Michalak, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Marcell Coetzee, 6. Keegan Daniel (captain), 5. Anton Bresler, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Dale Chadwick
Substitutes: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Ross Skeate, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Charl McLeod, 21. Meyer Bosman, 22. Paul Jordaan