Bulls beef up their pack for Pumas
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White has added some serious muscle to his team for the Currie Cup Round Two clash against the Pumas in Pretoria on Friday.
Simphiwe Matanzima is the only player in this weekend’s matchday-23 that played in last weekend’s Currie Cup opener against Western Province.
The bulk of the squad is made up of the players that represented the Bulls in the Rainbow Cup Final in Treviso last weekend.
Hooker Schalk Erasmus will be propped up in the front row by Springbok Lizo Gqoboka and Mornay Smith, with Walt Steenkamp and Janko Swanepoel adding their weight to the tight five.
Gerhard Steenekamp and Johan Grobbelaar will get a well-deserved break this weekend after putting in weeks on the trot in the Rainbow Cup.
The Loose trio remains unchanged from the one that did battle in Italy a week ago – with Marcell Coetzee once again leading the boys in blue from the back of the scrum.
Nizaam Carr and Ruan Nortje will don the No.6 and No.7 jerseys respectively and will no doubt bring the intense work rate that we have come to expect from them.
Ivan van Zyl and Chris Smith will continue their halfback pairing.
Cornal Hendricks gets a new mid-field partner in Harold Voster.
Voster will be making his Bulls debut this weekend after racking up a host of caps for the Lions between 2014 and 2019.
His last stint before joining the Bulls was in Japan for the Wild Knights.
Madosh Thambwe and Stravino Jacobs will once again be patrolling the wings, with Gio Aplon returning in the No.15 jersey.
The 38-year-old Aplon has fully recovered from a knee injury and is looking as sensational as he always has.
Bulls: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Harold Voster, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 7 Ruan Nortje, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Janko Swanepoel, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Schalk Erasmus, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Sidney Tobias, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Muller Uys, 20 WJ Steenkamp, 21 Zak Burger, 22 FC du Plessis, 23 David Kriel.
On standby: 24 Robert Hunt, 25 Ruan Delport, 26 Jaco Labuschagne, 27 Keagan Johannes, 28 Marco Jansen van Vuren.
Date: Friday, June 25
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Cwengile Jadezweni