Coetzee headlines strong Bulls team to face Stormers
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Springbok loose forward Marcell Coetzee will earn his first cap for the Bulls when they host the Stormers in their Rainbow Cup SA clash at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White has tweaked the starting line-up with scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl returning from injury to partner flyhalf Morné Steyn, while wing Stravino Jacobs reclaims the No.11 jersey in place of James Verity-Amm.
Besides the inclusion of Coetzee at openside flank, Mornay Smith and Gerhard Steenekamp will prop up the scrum alongside hooker Johan Grobbelaar.
Springbok utility back Gio Aplon has recovered from his ACL injury and will add experience off the bench, with fellow Springboks in prop Trevor Nyakane and flank Marco van Staden set to do the same.
“We’ve welcomed back Gio and Ivan from injury while Marcell gets his first start for us. It’s great having experience of this calibre coming back into our system as we head into the busines end of the tournament,” said White.
“The loss against the Lions put things into perspective as we cannot afford even one slip up in terms of the log. We need to make amends for it and there’s not many things tougher than a classic North-South derby,” he added.
Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen, (captain), 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements – from: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Zak Burger, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Gio Aplon, 24 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 25 Muller Uys, 26 Jan Uys, 27 James Verity-Amm, 28 Keagan Johannes.
Date: Friday, June 4
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assitant referees: AJ Jacobs, Aimee Barrett-Theron
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen