Bulls get major boost for clash against Lions
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Bismarck du Plessis will make a return to play with a starting berth for the Bulls when they take on the Lions in a Currie Cup clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The veteran hooker will form part of an exciting front row after completing a three-week suspension.
The 37-year-old will be lining up alongside Lizo Gqoboka, who will also captain the team, at loosehead prop and Dylan Smith, who gets his first start in the blue jersey, at tighthead prop.
Juan Mostert will earn his first start for the Bulls, earning a spot at flyhalf in the exciting backline which will also see Kabelo Mokoena, who was part of the successful UP Tuks team that recently claimed the Varsity Cup title.
The Bulls expect a tough challenge from a Lions side that will be motivated against one of their oldest rivals at Loftus Versfeld.
The team have undergone several changes.
The United Rugby Championship Cup players like Canan Moodie, Cornal Hendricks, Harold Vorster, Madosh Tambwe, Chris Smith, Embrose Papier and Arno Botha have all been replaced in the Currie Cup starting XV.
“We are looking forward to a hard game against the Lions this week.” Bulls coach Gert Smal said.
“We have also an exciting team, led by Lizo, that we have assembled for this match. We have a good mix of experience with Bismarck also back in the mix and the likes of Stedman Gans and Marco Jansen van Vuren in the backline.
“There is a lot of history and a rivalry that spans for decades between these two teams. Every time the Bulls meet the Lions it is expected to be a game full of spark. They [Lions] will undoubtedly throw everything at us and will bring the competitiveness we have known between these two sides over the past 84 years.”
Bulls: 15 James Verity-Am, 14 David Kriel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Marco Janse van Vuren, 11 Kabelo Mokoena, 10 Juan Mostert, 9 Keagan Johannes, 8 Muller Uys, 7 Reinhardt Ludwing, 6 Jaco Labuschagne, 5 Janko Swanepoel, 4 Raynard Roets, 3 Dylan Smith, 2 Bismarck Du Plesses, 1 Lizo Gqoboka (captain).
Replacements: 16 Sidney Tobias, 17 Cebo Dlamini, 18 Francois Kloppers, 19 Ruan Delport, 20 Stephan Smith, 21 Bernard van der Linde, 22 Diego Appollis, 23 Richard Kriel.
Date: Saturday, May 14
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Griffin Colby
Assistant Referees: Morne Ferreira, Local
TMO: Christie du Preez