Bulls missing 11 Boks but still looking strong

LOSING 11 players to Springbok duty would give most coaches sleepless nights, but for Bulls coach Frans Ludeke it's all part of the job.

LOSING 11 players to Springbok duty would give most coaches sleepless nights, but for Bulls coach Frans Ludeke it's all part of the job.

Naming his squad of 22 for their clash with the Pumas at Loftus Versfeld on Friday, Ludeke yesterday still announced a strong line-up and one that illustrates just how much depth the union has in its ranks.

There's still a smattering of Springboks - Bandise Maku, Flip van der Merwe, Derick Kuun and Jaco van der Westhuyzen - while youngsters such as Gerrit-Jan Velze, Stefan Watermeyer and Gerhard van der Heever get a chance to stake their claim in the light blue jersey.

"We took stock after the Super 14 and have made small adjustments to help us develop our game," Ludeke said.

"The core of our players was also involved in the Super 14 so it's just a case of making small adjustments."

With regular captain Victor Matfield away in New Zealand on national duty, the captain's armband goes to the highly rated Gary Botha.

The locking combination announced by Ludeke is an interesting one - Fudge Mabeta with Flip van der Merwe.

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