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Bulls welcome back World Cup star for Final

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Kurt-Lee Arendse is back for the United Rugby Championship Final between the Bulls and Glasgow Warriors at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday after undergoing cheekbone surgery a fortnight ago.

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Arendse has been included in the Bulls team and seems to have made a miraculous comeback much like French captain Antoine Dupont during the World Cup in the quarterfinal against South Africa after a similar injury.

The Bulls team sees Devon Williams come in at fullback in the place of Willie le Roux who has not recovered after failing an HIA during the semifinal against Leinster last weekend.

Sergeal Petersen gets another shot at wing after he scored two sterling tries in the semifinal last weekend.

Zak Burger comes in at the cost of Keagan Johannes on the bench.

Jake White, Director of Rugby at the Bulls, confirmed that Le Roux was not yet ready while Arendse was cleared by the medical team.

“With protocols now, concussion, and the fear of head injuries which I understand, there is no way we can fast track anything,” White told reporters during the team announcement on Friday morning.

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“He [Willie le Roux] failed his HIA, he is in the obligatory time that he needs to be off. He wants to play, but he keeps saying he is fine.

“It is a sign of where we are as a group. Everyone wants to be part of this Final.

“Antoine Dupont had a cheek fracture and he played in the quarterfinal of the World Cup against South Africa.

“The doctor was impressed and really happy with how Kurt-Lee has recovered. Obviously you can’t target anyone’s head. It’s illegal to play anyone around his head so there’s no fear of anything other than the fact that he wants to be part of it.

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“The doctor says he is happy, the specialist said he is happy and to have him back, especially because we lose a guy with Willie’s experience, is fantastic for us.”

Bulls: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 David Kriel, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Cameron Hanekom, 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje (captain), 4 Ruan Vermaak, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Simpiwe Matanzima, 18 Francois Klopper, 19 Reinhardt Ludwig, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Zak Burger, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Cornel Smit

Date: Saturday, June 22
Venue: Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
Kick-off: 18.00 (16.00 GMT; 17.00 IRE & UK time)
Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
Assistant referees: Frank Murphy (Ireland) and Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Matteo Liperini (Italy)

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