Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has made nine changes to the side that was hammered by the Crusaders last week, for this weekend’s clash against the Reds in Brisbane. While injury has played some part in the selections, I must admit that I’m totally baffled at the strategy that’s being employed here.
Out go Flip van der Merwe, Francois Hougaard, Wynand Olivier and Akona Ndungane – all four are injured and with the exception of van der Merwe, who may only miss this game, have all been ruled out for the rest of the tour. A slew of other changes, though, see the team changed immeasurably, leading one to believe that Ludeke truly is selecting a “B team” for this game. That said, the way his “A team” performed against the Crusaders, this alternate selection couldn’t realistically be expected to do any worse.
Captain Pierre Spies is one of just a handful of players retained, with the likes of Willie Wepener, Frik Kirsten, Arno Botha, Juandre Kruger, Morne Steyn and Jurgen Visser all dropped. Steyn will play off the bench, with Louis Fouche earning his first start in the competition at flyhalf.
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Morné Mellet.
Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Juandré Kruger, 19 Jacques Potgieter, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Morné Steyn, 22 Jan Serfontein.Tweet