Get the Sport24 daily newsletter delivered to your Inbox!


    Experience key for Bulls

    2016-04-07 10:29

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - The Bulls are relying on a few experienced faces in their Super Rugby clash against the Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. 

    Coach Nollis Marais has given a start to SP Marais at fullback, while Lappies Labuschagne returns following his ankle injury. 

    Those two selections alone give the Bulls a more seasoned feel, and Marais says that experience was something he was very mindful of when selecting his side for a match that the Bulls are favourites to win. 

    "I thought about different combinations and the main thing I think the team is battling with is experience," Nollis Marais offered.

    "We have got a lot of youngsters. We have 12 guys making their debuts this year in Super Rugby … I don’t know if there’s any other franchise at the moment like that.

    "I thought we should go with some stability in Jan (Serfontein) and Jesse (Kriel) in midfield, who have played together, and then bring in a bit of experience at the back."

    The coach was explaining his decision to include SP Marais in a move that sees Kriel return to centre after having started last weekend's clash against the Cheetahs in the No 15 jersey. 

    SP Marais was snapped up by the Bulls last month after he was one of the players to have found himself jobless following the financial woes that have plagued the EP Kings.

    "We decided that SP wasn’t on a contract anywhere and he has experience so we thought we’d get him in," said Nollis Marais.

    "He has been doing well and lucky for us it worked out ... it’s good for us to have somebody with that experience available."

    In the forwards, Labuschagne returns after having come off the bench against the Cheetahs.

    "Lappies brings a lot of settlement to the loose forwards," Marais said.

    "Last week our 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 had 20 caps combined.

    "Now if you bring Lappies back he brings a bit of a calmness.

    "If something happens to Adriaan, he will immediately take over the captaincy. He gives us more leadership and experience on the field."

    The Bulls have lost just once this season in their tournament opener against the Stormers in Cape Town. 

    Kick-off on Saturday is at 19:15.





    15 SP Marais, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane

    Substitutes: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Dan Kriel

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    23 February 2017
    • Rebels v Blues, AAMI Park 10:45
    24 February 2017
    • Highlanders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Reds v Sharks, Suncorp Stadium 11:00
    25 February 2017
    • Sunwolves v Hurricanes, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Brumbies, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Force, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Cheetahs v Lions, Toyota Stadium 15:05
    • Kings v Jaguares, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 17:15
    • Stormers v Bulls, Cape Town 19:30


    06 August 2016
    30 July 2016
    23 July 2016
    22 July 2016
    16 July 2016
    15 July 2016
    09 July 2016
    08 July 2016
    02 July 2016
    01 July 2016
    29 May 2016
    28 May 2016
    27 May 2016
    21 May 2016
    20 May 2016
    14 May 2016
    13 May 2016
    07 May 2016
    06 May 2016
    30 April 2016
    29 April 2016
    24 April 2016
    23 April 2016
    22 April 2016
    16 April 2016
    15 April 2016
    09 April 2016
    08 April 2016
    03 April 2016
    02 April 2016
    01 April 2016
    27 March 2016
    26 March 2016
    25 March 2016
    19 March 2016
    18 March 2016
    12 March 2016
    11 March 2016
    05 March 2016
    04 March 2016
    27 February 2016
    26 February 2016

    Opinion Poll

    Jake White will leave his job as Montpellier coach next year. Where would you like to see the former Springbok coach, coach next?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

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