Brenden Nel - SuperSport
Johannesburg - Deon Stegmann may make his long-awaited return to action when the Vodacom Bulls head for Windhoek for a friendly match against the Namibian national team this weekend.
According to the supersport.com website, while Stegmann was only expected to make a return to Currie Cup action later, his inclusion in a team for the breakaway trip may well mean that he will get some game time and could well be back for the last few games in this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby series.
The Bulls have not named a captain but the logical candidate is Akona Ndungane, who has served as the vice-captain for two seasons now and any other candidate will raise eyebrows if Ndungane isn’t given the job.
Without their Springbok and SA under-20 representatives, there is still a lot of talent, with Springboks Piet van Zyl, Bjorn Basson, Ndungane, Bandise Maku and Werner Kruger all in the touring squad.
Rising stars such as Jacques du Plessis, Marvin Orie, Bongi Mbonambi and Paul Willemse are also there while William Small-Smith may get a full run at outside centre.
Tuks’ Roelof Smit, a classic opensider is also in the team and it will be interesting to follow his progress on the trip.
Interestingly the Bulls are really enjoying this breakaway with head coach Frans Ludeke heading up a big 16 man management team along with the 28 players as one of four specialist coaches.
Akona Ndungane, Bjorn Basson, Burger Odendaal, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Jurgen Visser, Piet van Zyl, Rudy Paige, Ryan Nell, Sampie Mastriet, Travis Ismaiel, Ulrich Beyers, William Small-Smith
Bandise Maku, Basil Short, Bongi Mbonambi, Christiaan de Bruin, Clayde Davids, Dean Greyling, Deon Stegmann, Grant Hattingh, Jacques du Plessis, Jacques Engelbrecht, Jono Ross, Marvin Orie, Morné Mellet, Paul Willemse, Roelof Smit, Werner Kruger