The coach of the Vodacom Bulls, Frans Ludeke, has named Wynand Olivier at inside centre for Saturday’s Vodacom Super 14 semifinal at Loftus Versfeld against the Crusaders.
The Bulls official website reports that Olivier had to leave the field against the Sharks with a hip injury and although it was earlier feared that he might miss the semi-final, coach Ludeke and Dr Org Strauss is satisfied with his recovery and therefore he will partner Jaco Pretorius in the midfield.
The rest of the team was left unchanged but on the bench Gerhard van den Heever comes in for JP Nel, who has received a four week ban.
Ludeke said at the weekly press conference at Loftus on Tuesday that the Bulls will treat the semi-final like all the other matches because what is most needed at this stage of the season is routine.
“We will have a few short, sharp sessions during the week and all our focus is on winning the match. “We need to put the Crusaders under immense pressure and grind the result out. They were tough opponents in the league stages of the competition in Christchurch and they had the better of us in the set pieces but we are prepared to play and take them on for the full 80 minutes.”
The captain Victor Matfield said that the team is tremendously excited about the contest against the Crusaders and he and his troops can’t wait to get on the field.
“When we arrived at Loftus on Monday morning we saw all the people who have been camping at the stadium since Saturday night and that created a wonderful atmosphere, but we know that it is only about what happens on the field. We have worked hard to secure a home semi-final and our next goal is to get the right result on the weekend.”
Vodacom Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner; 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Wynand Olivier,11 Bryan Habana; 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez; 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Derick Kuün, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Rayno Gerber, 18 Danie Rossouw, 19 Pedrie Wannenburg, 20 Heini Adams, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.