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Bulls wield heavy axe

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Bulls have made wholesale changes to the matchday 23 that will do battle in round 2 of the 2023 Currie Cup competition.

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Currie Cup head coach Edgar Marutlulle opted to bring in 14 fresh pairs of legs as the herd prepares to take on arch-rivals, the Western Province in the classical North-South derby.

The forwards’ pack will see Gerhard Steenekamp slotting into loose-head prop as Mornay Smith starts at tight-head, both flanking Johann Grobbelaar at hooker.

The second row will feature Ruan Vermaak and club captain, Ruan Nortje lining up at lock.

In the backrow flanks Marco van Staden will cover the blindside and Cyle Brink is at open side, while Elrigh Louw will cover No.8

Scrumhalf, Zak Burger and flyhalf, Chris Smith will link up as the halfback pairing with Harold Vorster (inside) and Cornal Hendricks (outside) directing traffic at the centre.

Sbu Nkosi and Quewin Nortje will line up at left and right wing respectively. The backs will have David Kriel marshalling the troops from the back.

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The changes remain part of the rotation plan as well as the need to ensure that all players have sufficient game time as the club heads into the final rounds of the United Rugby Championship season as well as the knockout stages of the Champions Cup.

Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Quewin Nortje, 13 Cornal Hendricks, 12 Harold Vorster,, 11 Sibusiso Nkosi, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje (captain), 4 Jacques Du Plessis, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johann Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: 16 Simphiwe Matanzima, 17 Bismarck du Plessis, 18 Francois Kloppers, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 WJ Steenkamp, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Stedman Gans

Date: Friday, March 17
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.05 (17.05 GMT)
Referee: Griffin Colby
Assistant Referees: Local
TMO: Christie du Preez

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