Bulls make two changes for Reds


Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss was given a rest in compliance the Springbok rest agreement with the five franchises and Callie Visagie would start in the number two jersey.

It would be Visagie’s first start of the season. His place on the bench would be taken by Jaco Visagie.

The other change from the side that lost 22-18 to the Lions last week was at flank, where a fit-again Arno Botha would replace Hanro Liebenberg at flank. Botha recovered from a hamstring strain, with Liebenberg replacing Roelof Smit on the bench.

Another new face on the bench is Flip van der Merwe, who replaced Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg. Van der Merwe missed the first half of the season due to a pectoral muscle tear, but was keen to add to his 72 caps in the competition.

“It is great to have Flip back,” Ludeke said.

“He does not only provide a physical presence and some real grunt up front, he is also an important leader in the squad and with Victor (Matfield) out for a couple of weeks, Flip’s return could not come at a better time.”

The coach also opted to give Handré Pollard and Jan Serfontein another week off, with the latter also rested due to the Saru arrangement.

“We have some big games and a tour coming up and I would like both of them to be 100 percent fit for that. Both Jacques-Louis (Potgieter) and Burger (Odendaal) played well when called upon and I am happy to give them another opportunity. You need your whole squad to contribute to be successful in this competition,” said Ludeke.

Bulls captain Pierre Spies was adamant their low log position does not mean that the Reds will be an easy opponent.

“They are desperate to get their season going and teams like that are always dangerous,” said Spies.

“They have some classy players in their team and if they are on song on the day, they can destroy you in a blink. We will have to play all the big moments well, but will also have to force our style of play on them and dictate the terms. That will require commitment and discipline.”

Bulls team: 15.Jesse Kriel, 14.Francois Hougaard, 13.JJ Engelbrecht, 12.Burger Odendaal, 11.Bjorn Basson, 10.Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9.Rudy Paige, 8.Pierre Spies (capt), 7.Arno Botha, 6.Deon Stegmann, 5.Grant Hattingh, 4.Jacques du Plessis, 3.Trevor Nyakane, 2.Callie Visagie, 1.Dean Greyling. Replacements: 16.Jaco Visagie, 17.Morné Mellett, 18.Marcel van der Merwe, 19.Flip van der Merwe, 20.Hanro Liebenberg, 21.Piet van Zyl, 22.Tian Schoeman, 23.Jurgen Visser. – ANA

Original source: Bulls make two changes for Reds