Talk earlier in the week that the Bulls would be carrying a massive injury list into their final Super Rugby league fixture against the Lions appears to have come to naught, with Flip van der Merwe the only casualty from Friday night’s bruiser against the Sharks.
Coach Frans Ludeke took the unprecedented step of cancelling training two days in a row on Monday and Tuesday, but the Bulls seem to have managed all of their niggles and will take on the Lions with mostly the same starting lineup, bar the inclusion of 50-capper Wilhelm Steenkamp in place of van der Merwe. The latter has a sore hip, which is only expected to keep him out for a week.
Deon Stegmann has been included on the bench in the number 18 jersey, with blindside flank Jacques Potgieter the designated second row cover. It’s a pretty dire indictment on the lack of second-row options in Pretoria, now that Gerrit-Jan van Velze has left and makes the decision to cut Daniel Adongo loose all the stranger. Reports on Twitter, though, suggest that Lions lock-cum-loosie Grant Hattingh has concluded a deal that will see him join the Bulls on a two-year deal, starting with this year’s Currie Cup.
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Mornè Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 Juandrè Kruger, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Deon Stegmann, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouchè, 22 Francois VenterTweet