Bok to captain well-balanced Bulls team
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Bulls Currie Cup head coach Edgar Marutlulle has named his side to take on Cheetahs in Round three of the 2023 Currie Cup competition in Bloemfontein.
Springbok prop Lizo Gqoboka returns to the starting lineup to captain the side against the Cheetahs on Friday.
Gqoboka will line up alongside Jan Hendrik Wessels and Robert Hunt in the front row. Jacques Du Plessis and Reinhardt Ludwig will form part of the second row with Cameron Hanekom, Mihlali Mosi and Muller Uys behind them in the back row.
Keagan Johannes will lace up as the conductor with Chris Barend Smit slotting in at flyhalf. Lionel Mapoe and Wandisile Simelane will form part of the centre pairing with Kabelo Mokoena and Quewin Nortje on the wings as Franco Knoetze marshalls the troops at fullback.
Both Franco Knoetze and Adriaan Joubert will be making their debut appearances for the Bulls, with Juan van der Westhuizen set to feature as one of the club’s success stories.
Reflecting on his selection, Marutlulle said: “We have gone with a balanced side in terms of experience and youth, giving players an opportunity and giving ourselves the best possible combination to get the result.
“We have also opted to rest some senior players because player management and welfare is important in such a long season as the one ahead.
“We have the best club system in the land and testament to this fact, is the bubbling talent that filters through.
“Congratulations to Franco and Joubert on the debuts and they get to share this special day with Juan, and I think all of this is wonderful because it is good to reward our club structures because they continue to help us get to the position of being a dominant franchise in South Africa.
“We look forward to more players making their debuts from the club system right into the professional ranks, this is fantastic for South African rugby.”
Bulls: 15 Franco Knoetze, 14 Quewin Nortje, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Lionel Mapoe, 11 Kabelo Mokoena, 10 Chris Barent Smit, 9 Keagan Johannes, 8 Muller Uys, 7 Mihhali Mosi, 6 Cameron Hanekom, 5 Reinhardt Ludwig, 4 Jacques Du Plessis, 3 Robert Hunt, 2 Jan Hendrik Wessels, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Replaceements: 16 Joe Van Zyl, 17 Jacques Van Rooyen, 18 Sebastian Lombard, 19 Juan Van Der Westhuizen, 20
Phumzile Maqondwana, 21 Bernard Van Der Linde, 22 Adriaan Joubert, 23 Juan Mostert.
Date: Friday, March 24
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT)
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant Referees: Local
TMO: Egon Seconds