Nothing friendly about SuperHero Sunday for the Bulls and Lions
There will be nothing friendly about SuperHero Sunday for the Bulls when they line up against the Lions in the pre-season derby encounter at FNB Stadium.
Juandre Kruger‚ Morne Steyn and Josh Strauss are just some of the seasoned rugby heads that will be starting for the Bulls as they've decided to mix and match their youth and experience.
Steyn will be starting in his preferred flyhalf berth while Kruger and Strauss will be starting at lock and number eight respectively.
Bulls coach Pote Human said the benching of Manie Libbok was a case of knowing what they have in him while Steyn is in great physical shape.
“Everyone knows what Manie is capable of but I'd like to see what Morne brings. He's fit and when he came back‚ he was in excellent condition.
"We'll give him an opportunity and we'll do the same with Manie as he's very good when he's got space to work with. So we'll see what happens when we give him a run‚” Human said.
With Springbok props Lizo Gqoboka and Trevor Nyakane not starting‚ Simphiwe Matanzima and Wiehahn Herbst will be packing in the front row with Jaco Visagie at hooker while Muller Uys and Wian Vosloo start at flank.
Nyakane was injured during the Springboks' opening Rugby World Cup game against New Zealand and subsequently missed the rest of the tournament.
Human said the strong and versatile front rower has made an excellent recovery with the view of him and Gqoboka being ready for the Bulls' opening Super Rugby game against the Sharks on January 31 at Kings Park
“He's working very hard on his rehab and I hope he'll be ready to fall in with us next week and be available for the Sharks game‚” Human said.
The Bulls backs have a strong look to them with Cornal Hendricks starting at 13 with Johnny Kotze filling in at right wing.
Warrick Gelant will start at fullback while Rosko Specman gets to play in his preferred left wing position.
Embrose Papier will be on the bench deputising for Ivan van Zyl while the squad will be captained by Burger Odendaal for the season.
The inside centre‚ who watched a number of Bulls captains get injured last season‚ said they are champing at the bit for Sunday's fixture
“There's a lot of excitement‚ especially with the younger guys in the team. There are a lot of youngsters getting an opportunity to play on the senior stage. We've had a pretty long pre-season‚” Odendaal said.
15. Warrick Gelant‚ 14. Johnny Kotze‚ 13. Cornal Hendricks‚ 12. Burger Odendaal (C)‚ 11. Rosko Specman‚ 10. Morné Steyn‚ 9. Ivan van Zyl‚ 8. Josh Strauss‚ 7. Muller Uys‚ 6. Wian Vosloo‚ 5. Juandré Kruger‚ 4. Andries Ferreira‚ 3. Wiehahn Herbst‚ 2. Jaco Visagie‚ 1. Simphiwe Matanzima.
Replacements: 16. Johan Grobbelaar‚ 17. Gerhard Steenekamp‚ 18. Mornay Smith‚ 19. Ryno Pieterse‚ 20. Ruan Nortje/Jean Droste‚ 21. Embrose Papier‚ 22. Chris Smith‚ 23. Divan Rossouw‚ 24. Dylan Sage‚ 25. Manie Libbok‚ 26. Jeandré Rudolph‚ 27. Abongile Nonkontwana‚ 28. Tim Agaba.