Springboks eighth man Vermeulen to lead the Bulls against the Brumbies

Duane Vermeulen of the Vodacom Bulls in action during the Super Rugby match between Vodacom Blue Bulls and Cell C Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on March 09, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Duane Vermeulen of the Vodacom Bulls in action during the Super Rugby match between Vodacom Blue Bulls and Cell C Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on March 09, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

Springboks eighth man Duane Vermeulen has been chosen to lead the Bulls in their Super Rugby clash against the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday.

The experienced Vermeulen assumes the leadership role in the absence of regular captain Handré Pollard who has been ruled out by a calf strain injury he picked up at training last week.

As a result of the injury‚ Pollard has been removed from the Bulls roster for their Australian tour and he is returning home to receive further treatment to make him ready for the knockout stages if they get there.

Pollard’s place in the number 10 jersey will be taken by talented and versatile 21-year old playmaker Manie Libbok while in the other notable change JT Jackson moves to the bench.

The rest of the match day squad that won against the Rebels last week remains unchanged as coach Pote Human chose not to fix what is not broken.

Human commented that Libbok‚ who started against the Jaquares earlier in the season‚ has big shoes to fill but has the ability and skills to help the team achieve a second win on tour.

“He (Libbok) would not be around if he was not good enough‚ that is for sure‚” said Human.

“Handré is probably the leading 10 in the world at the moment‚ so to take over from him is not easy.

"But Manie has done well for us when he took to the field this year.

"I have the utmost confidence in him this weekend‚ he is an exciting young talent and we are looking forward to watching him grow.”

Looking ahead to the clash‚ Vermeulen said the defensive effort they showed in the gutsy win over the Rebels in Melbourne last week must be repeated.

“We defended very well when under severe pressure and the Brumbies are going to test us the same way.

"They are skilled and determined‚ if we let our guard down we will pay the price‚” he said

Teams:

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant‚ 14 Cornal Hendricks‚ 13 Johnny Kotze‚ 12 Burger Odendaal‚ 11 Rosko Specman‚ 10 Manie Libbok‚ 9 Andre Warner‚ 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain)‚ 7 Hanro Liebenberg‚ 6 Paul Schoeman‚ 5 RG Snyman‚ 4 Jason Jenkins‚ 3 Trevor Nyakane‚ 2 Schalk Brits‚ 1 Lizo Gqoboka

Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie‚ 17 Simphiwe Matanzima‚ 18 Wiehahn Herbst‚ 19 Jannes Kirsten‚ 20 Marco van Staden‚ 21 Embrose Papier‚ 22 JT Jackson‚ 23 Divan Rossouw

Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks‚ 14 Henry Speight‚ 13 Tevita Kuridrani‚ 12 Irae Simone‚ 11 Toni Pulu‚ 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain)‚ 9 Joe Powell‚ 8 Pete Samu‚ 7 Jahrome Brown‚ 6 Tom Cusack‚ 5 Sam Carter‚ 4 Rory Arnold‚ 3 Allan Alaalatoa‚ 2 Folau Fainga’A‚ 1 Scott Sio

Substitutes: 16 Connal Mcinerney‚ 17 James Slipper‚ 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin‚ 19 Darcy Swain‚ 20 Murray Douglas‚ 21 Rob Valetini‚ 22 Ryan Lonergan‚ 23 Tom Wright

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