Liebenberg at No 8 for Bulls
Cape Town - Bulls coach Nollis Marais named Hanro Liebenberg
at No 8 for their Super Rugby clash against the Western Force in Perth on
Friday (13:05 SA time).
This will be Liebenberg’s first appearance for the Bulls in
the Super Rugby competition since April last year, with Junior Springboks duties
and injury interrupting the five caps the 20-year old has earned for the team
Liebenberg comes into the starting line-up as Marais made
two changes to the run-on team that played against the Reds at Loftus Versfeld
two weeks ago.
The No 8 takes over from Arno Botha and at scrumhalf Piet van Zyl will start, with Rudy Paige
moving to the bench, where Marais made some tweaks.
Bandise Maku, Dries Swanepoel and Roelof Smith will replace
Jaco Visagie, Dan Kriel and Deon Stegmann on the bench respectively.
Wing Jamba Ulengo also returned to South Africa for personal reasons, with Bjorn Basson replacing him on tour.
Marais was happy with the team’s travels and preparations,
following a week off since the Reds win.
"We are, in a way, still under the radar and that is a
good thing I believe. We are slowly starting to put a proper match together and
as a unit is improving, no doubt. A coach cannot ask for more than that. We had
soft moments and patches in a couple of matches, but overall, we are starting
to find rhythm and some fluency in our game,” Marais said.
Bulls captain Adriaan Strauss is only too aware of the fact
that the Force have proved a very difficult opponent for the Bulls in Perth.
"Yes, they do have a good record against us here, but
that is not something that we see as an important issue. A lot of our guys are
first time tourists with the team and just want to go out and enjoy playing for
the Bulls. We have ambitions in how we want to approach the game and execute
our game plan, but know very well that the Force will not make it easy for us.
We will have to work very hard for a win, but I can tell you now, this team is
prepared to do that.”
15 SP Marais, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan
Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro
Liebenberg, 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 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Werner
Kruger, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23