The Vodacom Bulls’ coach, Frans Ludeke, has opted for Danie Rossouw to pack down at lock at the side of Bakkies Botha for Saturday’s second round clash against the Blues at Loftus Versfeld.
The BBRU website reports that Rossouw replaces Victor Matfield, who will miss the next three matches as a result of his shoulder injury and with Rossouw in the starting XV Wilhelm Steenkamp will be on the bench as the lock replacement.
Coach Ludeke said at the weekly press conference that was held at Loftus on Wednesday that that the Blues are an immensely physical team and that is one of the reasons why he decided to select Rossouw at the side of Botha.
Fourie du Preez will take over the captaincy in the absence of Matfield, but the rest of the team was left unchanged for the match against the team from Auckland.
Du Preez said that everybody in the Bulls’ camp has a great deal of respect for the Blues and although some of their superstars will not be in action at Loftus they still are a formidable outfit.
“We’ve seen in the past that the New Zealand franchises have a lot of depth and they always have someone else in their squad that is very capable of replacing an injured player.
“The Blues are always an unbelievable tough opponent, but after the win against the Reds we are on track and as a team we are confident in our abilities.”
It is interesting to note that Du Preez is one of 13 players that have played for the Bulls since their under 19-days and this is a great testimony to the wonderful juniors structures that are in place at Loftus Versfeld.
The others are Wynand Olivier, Morné Steyn, Pierre Spies, Dewald Potgieter, Deon Stegmann, Danie Rossouw, Werner Kruger, Derick Kuün, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Frik Kirsten, Wilhelm Steenkamp and Burton Francis.
What makes this even more significant is the fact that Du Preez, Olivier, Spies, Kuün, Ralepelle and Kirsten have played for the Bulls since their schooldays.
Vodacom Bulls: Zane Kirchner; Akona Ndungane, Jaco Pretorius, Wynand Olivier, Bryan Habana; Morné Steyn, Fourie du Preez (captain); Pierre Spies, Dewald Potgieter, Deon Stegmann, Danie Rossouw, Bakkies Botha, Werner Kruger, Derick Kuün, Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Reserves: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Frik Kirsten, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Pedrie Wannenburg, Heini Adams, Burton Francis, JP Nel.