Bulls get their captain back for semifinal
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Marcell Coetzee will return to lead the Bulls in their Currie Cup semifinal clash against Western Province at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
The Bulls captain last featured in the side’s 56-33 win over the Griquas in Round 10 of the competition.
Coetzee’s inclusion, as he replaces WJ Steenkamp, is one of four changes to the starting XV that beat the Cheetahs in the final round match last weekend. These changes include the rotation of Schalk Erasmus, who will wear the No.2 jersey this week, and Jan-Hendrik Wessels, who will provide hooker cover from the bench.
In the backline, Harold Vorster makes a return and partners up with Lionel Mapoe for the midfield pairing. Cornal Hendricks, who played at centre last week, shifts to wing where he replaces Kurt-Lee Arendse. At scrumhalf, Zak Burger will earn a starting berth in the semifinal to form what has been a familiar halfback pairing with Johan Goosen.
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) September 2, 2021
“The knockout stages of the Currie Cup are always a notch or two higher in intensity and competitiveness. That will certainly be the case against a determined Western Province side this week,” said Bulls director of rugby Jake White.
“This week our group of players have been working hard to ensure that we are prepared physically and mentally for what lies ahead. Thankfully, we have a number of players in this group who have been at this stage of the competition before. We will rely on each of them to put their bodies on the line this week against quality opposition.”
Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Janko Swanepoel, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Schalk Erasmus, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements – from: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Jacques du Plessis, 20 WJ Steenkamp, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Stravino Jacobs, 24 Joe van Zyl, 25 Reinhardt Ludwig, 26 Jaco Labuschagne, 27 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 28 Stedman Gans.
Date: Friday, September 3
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron, Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Quinton Immelman