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Jake White to test new combinations

SPOTLIGHT: The Bulls and the Lions will end their 2023/24 pre-season with an open warm-up match on Wednesday.

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Both sides will field their entire roster in three 30-minute field sessions.

The match will take place at the Wits University rugby grounds.

A number of the Bulls’ new signings will be in action. They include Springboks Akker van der Merwe and Wilco Louw.

Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White said he was looking forward to testing some new combinations.

“We have had one of the toughest pre-seasons I have been a part of and this group has just shown immense levels of commitment and drive throughout. So that has meant we have had to box clever, keeping in mind that the coming season is going to be very long, especially when you consider the number of competitions that we are involved in,” said White.

“To the outside, it may look like we have had little pre-season matches but that is by our design because we are conscious of the workload the team has already gone through.

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“The run against the Lions will be an opportunity for us to scrutinize some of the details we have put into place and also have a real match-simulated feel on some of the combinations available to us for the season, and for some of our new recruits, it will be an opportunity for them to get a feel for the jersey ahead of an important season ahead.

“It is an exciting time and I am sure it is just as exciting for the players because this is that final rehearsal before the opening of our United Rugby Championship campaign.”

Bulls squad to face Lions:

FORWARDS: Akker van der Merwe, Cameron Hanekom, Cyle Brink, Dylan Smith, Deon Slabbert, Elrigh Louw, Francois Klopper, Gerhard Steenekamp, Jacques Du Plessis, Jacques van Rooyen, Jannes Kirsten, Janko Swanepoel, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, JF van Heerden, Joe van Zyl, Johan Grobbelaar, Khutha Mchunu, Marcell Coetzee, Merwe Olivier, Mihlali Mosi, Mornay Smith, Mpilo Gumede, Muller Uys, Nizaam Carr, Phumzile Maqondwana, Reinhardt Ludwig, Robert Hunt, Ruan Nortje, Ruan Vermaak, Sebastian Lombard, Simphiwe Matanzima, Tiaan Lange, Tielman Nieuwoudt, Wilco Louw, WJ Steenkamp

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BACKS: Bernard van der Linde, Chris Barend Smit, Chris Smith, Cornal Hendricks, David Kriel, Devon Williams, Embrose Papier, Harold Vorster, Henry Immelman, Jaco van der Walt, Johan Goosen, Kabelo Mokwena, Keagan Johannes, Lionel Mapoe, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Sibongile Novuka, Sebastian de Klerk, Sergeal Petersen, Stedman Gans, Stravino Jacobs, Wandisile Simelane, Zak Burger.

Date: Wednesday, October 11
Venue: Wits University, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)

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