Bulls want to be champions the 'right way'
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White wants his team to win the Super Rugby Unlocked title the “right way”.
The Bulls are set to be crowned champions on Saturday after the Sharks v Stormers match was cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols.
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Despite this, White still wants his Bulls team to finish in style when they face the Pumas in Pretoria.
“Due to the COVID pandemic affecting proceedings and the match between the Stormers and Sharks being cancelled, we find ourselves in a more fortunate position than expected,” said White.
“Even though this is not an ideal situation for the tournament and the teams, we all understand that the safety and well-being of all involved comes first.
“We as a team want to ensure that if we are to be named champions then we want to do it the right way, with a win against a good Pumas team.”
Meanwhile, Chris Smith will earn his first start at flyhalf.
Regular flyhalf Morne Steyn is rested due to COVID protocols. He was in close contact with a family member and will be tested again on Friday.
With Steyn out of the squad, Clinton Swart provides cover off the bench. The rest of the backline remains unchanged.
Amongst the forwards, Springbok flank Arno Botha will wear the No.7 jumper with Elrigh Louw dropping out of the matchday squad.
Corniel Els starts at hooker with Joe van Zyl on the bench in a direct swap as incumbent Johan Grobbelaar still nursing an injury.
The Bulls have been impressive on attack as the team has registered 17 tries while only conceding seven. Equally impressive is their defence as they have only conceded 3.4 clean breaks 14.4 defenders beaten thus far, according to Opta Stats.
Bulls: 15. David Kriel, 14. Travis Ismaiel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Joe van Zyl, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Clinton Swart, 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren.
Date: Saturday, November 21
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 14.00 (12.00 GMT)
Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen
— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) November 19, 2020