Bulls tweak team for Final against Sharks
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Bulls Director of Rugby, Jake White, has named a matchday squad jam-packed with experience while keeping consistency in the team’s selection ahead of their Currie Cup Final clash against the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The forwards remain relatively unchanged with the only change coming at hooker as Johan Grobbelaar gets the starting nod with Schalk Erasmus providing cover on the bench.
Duane Vermeulen will again lead the team from the back of the scrum alongside his successful loose forward partnership with Elrigh Louw and fellow Springbok Marco van Staden.
Springboks Trevor Nyakane and Lizo Gqoboka prop up a strong Bulls’ scrum while adding firepower in loose play.
The backs are unchanged as Marco Jansen van Vuren continues in his role at outside centre after a successful outing against the Lions as a late injury replacement for BlitzBok Stedman Gans.
Morné Steyn’s experience will contribute towards the collective strength of this team as he continues to rack up points with his boot while unleashing a backline that carries a massive punch, spearheaded by Springbok Cornal Hendricks and BlitzBok Kurt-Lee Arendse.
Former schoolboy sensation Stravino Jacobs has excelled under his baptism of fire in his first season as a senior player and will be keen to add to his brace that he scored in the semifinal last weekend.
The replacements have an important job in providing fresh legs and this weekend’s match will prove the ultimate test with stalwarts such as Jacques van Rooyen and Arno Botha standing by to inflict as much damage as possible while Springbok Embrose Papier and Chris Smith will be primed to open up the match in the latter stages.
“We have secured a place in the final but we still have 80 minutes to play. There are no second chances in playoff rugby and our opponents are just as eager to lift this coveted trophy. Our job is to prevent this from happening and ensuring that the Carling Currie Cup returns to Loftus Versfeld,” said White.
Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements – from: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Mornay Smith, 19 Jan Uys, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Marnus Potgieter, 24 Nizaam Carr, 25 Gerhard Steenekamp, 26 Keagan Johannes, 27 Jade Stighling.
Date: Saturday, January 30
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs and Griffin Colby
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen