After being accused of picking a B-side to face the Blues last week, Bulls coach Frans Ludeke seems to have inadvertently stumbled upon his best lineup, with the realisation dawning that Bok players such as Chiliboy Ralepelle, Werner Kruger and Francois Hougaard aren’t currently his best options in their respective positions.
The team named to face the Crusaders in Chirstchurch, another venue ripe for a first-ever Bulls win after they finally got the Eden Park monkey off their back on Sunday, shows only one injury-enforced change.
Utility back Jurgen Visser, more usually seen at fullback, has been selected on the left wing in his first Super Rugby start. Visser comes in as an injury replacement for Lionel Mapoe, with the spare place on the bench going to promising Jan Serfontein, who’ll wear the number 22 jersey.
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Jürgen Visser, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandrè Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Morné Mellett.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Jacques Potgieter, 20 Francois Hougaard, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Jan Serfontein.