Bulls shuffle backline
Springbok fly-half Mornè Steyn returns to the Bulls starting line-up for Saturday's Super Rugby clash with the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld.
The Bulls' most experienced player ever came off the bench in last weekend’s win over the Southern Kings much earlier than planned, having to replace Louis Fouchè (who tore knee ligaments).
He is one of three changes to the starting line-up.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke also changed his midfield combination. Wynand Olivier has departed for France, resulting in Jan Serfontein and JJ Engelbrecht combining again, with Serfontein moving to his preferred inside berth. There are a number of changes on the bench.
Jano Vermaak has recovered from his hamstring injury and replaces Rudy Paige, Callie Visagie and Willie Wepener rotate again at hooker and Jurgen Visser comes into the squad as back-up flyhalf.
Mornè Mellett comes into the side in place of the Paris-bound Juandrè Kruger, as Ludeke opted for two props on the bench.
“We have had a lot of disruptions since the squad returned and injuries to the likes of Pierre (Spies), Arno (Botha), Louis (Fouchè) and the departures of Wynand (Olivier) and Juandrè (Kruger) certainly did not make life easier for us. Fortunately we have always backed the depth of our squad and that is bearing fruit,” said Ludeke.
“We will face a Sharks team that will be desperate, as they need to win to keep their play-off hopes alive, but we have also goals to achieve and to get there, we need to keep on winning,” Ludeke said.
Bulls captain, Dewald Potgieter, said the focus will be solely on doing the basics right as a team.
“We are not looking at the bigger picture yet. We need to beat a very strong Sharks side packed with class players and lots of experience. We need to back ourselves, execute what has worked for us for far and most important, show up as a team on Saturday.”
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Dewald Potgieter (c), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Jono Ross, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Jurgen Visser, 22 Morné Mellett.
Date: Saturday, July 6
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Jason Jaftha (South Africa)