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Bulls' squad depth to be tested in Bristol

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Bulls have made their intentions clear ahead of their Champions Cup clash with the Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate on Saturday.

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The South Africans – after two games – lie in third place in Pool One, level on points with a superior points difference to Saracens and this weekend’s hosts, Bristol Bears. A victory in the southwest of England would give the herd a good advantage towards advancing into the next round.

The herd will run out at Ashton Gate with a front row comprising of loosehead prop, Gerhard Steenekamp alongside Jan-Hendrik Wessels at hooker and Wilco Louw at tighthead.

They are supported by the lock duo of Ruan Vermaak and Reinhardt Ludwig in the second row.

Franshise co-captain, Marcell Coetzee line up at blindside flank alongside Elrigh Louw on the open side with Mpilo Gumede at No.8.

Embrose Papier (scrumhalf) and Johan Goosen (flyhalf) will marshal the troops at halfback.

Harold Vorster returns from injury and partners with David Kriel in the midfield.

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Sergeal Petersen (left) and Sebastien de Klerk (right) combine as this week’s speedsters with Devon Williams providing versatility and skill at fullback.

Jake White will have the services of Simphiwe Matanzima, Tiaan Lange, Khutha Mchunu and Ruan Nortjé who returns to full fitness after a few weeks on the sideline.

Deon Slabbert, Keagan Johannes, Chris Smith and Henry Immelman complete the five-three split on the bench.

Bulls: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Sebastian de Klerk, 13 David Kriel, 12 Harold Voster, 11 Sergeal Petersen, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Mpilo Gumede,, 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 Reinhardt Ludwig, 4 Ruan Vermaak, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: 16 Simphiwe Matanzima, 17 Tiaan Lange, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Ruan Nortjé, 20 Deon Slabbert, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Henry Immelman.

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Date: Saturday, January 13
Venue: Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol
Kick-off: 15.15 (15.15 GMT; 17.15 SA Time)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Vivien Praderie (France) & Jonathan Gasnier (France)
TMO: Thomas Charabas (France)

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