Bulls change 7 for Rebels clash
Melbourne - Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has made
seven changes to his starting team to face the Rebels in a Super Rugby clash here
There are three changes in the backline
that faced the Brumbies last weekend and four in the pack.
Jesse Kriel, Travis Ismaiel and
Jacques-Louis Potgieter all move into starting positions off the bench,
replacing Jurgen Visser, Bjorn Basson and Handre Pollard respectively. Visser
and Basson will play off the bench, but Pollard will be rested for this clash.
Instead, Tian Schoeman, who joined the
touring party on Tuesday, will be the back-up flyhalf on the bench.
In the pack, injured Deon Stegmann is
replaced by Lappies Labuschagne, with Grant Hattingh moving to the bench to
make way for Victor Matfield. The veteran lock will play in his 148th match at
this level. In a straight swap, Jacques du Plessis starts at No 7 and Arno
Botha moves to the bench.
Adriaan Strauss was not considered due to
the resting agreement with SARU, resulting in Callie Visagie running onto the
field for his 50th match for the Bulls in the No 2 jersey. Jaco Visagie will be
on the bench.
According to Ludeke this is do or die for
"We have not achieved the results we
have hoped for thus far on tour and we have to win this one to stay in the
competition. In fact, we see this as a knock-out match. We cannot afford defeat
and will go into this match in playoff mode."
He is confident that the changes in the
side will not impact their performances, especially as Pollard and Basson have
started in all the matches so far.
"We have an excellent replacement in
Pottie (Potgieter) as he has vast experience and is a proven competitor at this
level. Bjorn is playing great rugby, but needs a break and Travis has shown his
potential thus far off the bench. It is great to have Victor back as the lineouts
will be a key area for us," Ludeke said.
Kick-off for Saturday’s clash at AAMI Park
is scheduled for 07:30 (SA time).
Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Travis
Ismaiel, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7
Jacques du Plessis, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Flip van der
Merwe, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling
16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20
Arno Botha, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Bjorn Basson, 23 Jurgen Visser