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    Bulls coach: North-South derby will 'never change'

    2019-02-14 20:53

    Cape Town - The Bulls, under a new Super Rugby coach and with a new-look side, have one of the biggest games of their 2019 season first-up on Saturday when they host the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld. 

    From a South African perspective it is the highlight of the weekend with the Sharks and Lions both out of the country taking on the Sunwolves and Jaguares, respectively. 

    Under the leadership of Pote Human, who was somewhat surprisingly given the reins as coach after the departure of John Mitchell, the Bulls have also secured the key signings of Springboks Duane Vermeulen and Schalk Brits. 

    Both players will start against the Stormers on Saturday and the arrival of Vermeulen alone will be encouraging for fans of the franchise. 

    There is definitely a sense of a new era beginning at Loftus this year, and according to Human there is no better way to start the campaign than by hosting their biggest rivals.

    "When you play the Stormers at Loftus there is no need for motivation," Human explained on Thursday after announcing his first side of the season.

    "It's always a dream to play against them here or in Cape Town.

    "The north-south derby will never change. It will always be awesome and all the guys are looking forward to the challenge."

    Human is optimistic, but he knows that the big-name signings will count for nothing if the Bulls do not execute on the day.

    "We had a camp last week and the guys have really gelled well together. We saw that on Saturday and I am very happy with the preparation. The guys just have to put it together on the field," he said.

    "There are 10 Springboks in that starting line-up so it's awesome to have that, but the guys still have to go and perform."

    Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:15

    Teams:

    Bulls

    15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Jessie Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Lood de Jager (captain), 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Lizo Gqoboka

    Substitutes: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Eli Snyman, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Dylan Sage

    Stormers

    15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 SP Marais, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak

    Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Kobus van Dyk, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Dan du Plessis

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    Fixtures

    Friday, 22 March 2019
    • Blues v Highlanders, Eden Park 08:35
    Saturday, 23 March 2019
    • Hurricanes v Stormers, Westpac Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Crusaders, Sydney Cricket Ground 10:45
    • Sunwolves v Lions, Singapore National Stadium 12:55
    • Bulls v Chiefs, Loftus Versfeld 15:05
    • Sharks v Rebels, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:15
    Sunday, 24 March 2019
    • Reds v Brumbies, Suncorp Stadium 07:05

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