John Mitchell. Picture: VELI NHLAPO
John Mitchell. Picture: VELI NHLAPO

Bulls coach John Mitchell says they have worked hard on their line-out drives and general defence play in preparation for their Super Rugby clash against the Reds at the Suncorp Stadium in Australia on Saturday.

Of the seven tries they conceded in the 49-35 defeat to the Lions at home last weekend‚ four came from line-outs, and Mitchell said they have made some technical adjustments in that area.

"We have adjusted technically and we feel that we will come back with a good structure against the Reds‚" he said on Thursday from Queensland.

"We fell short due to our own faults and hopefully we will get it right this weekend. There is always something to work on every week."

In announcing the team to face the Reds‚ Mitchell confirmed that flyhalf Handrè Pollard would captain the side in the absence of the injured Burger Odendaal with Johnny Kotze playing at inside centre. In other changes‚ Bok fullback Warrick Gelant will make his first start of the season at fullback to replace Divan Rossouw, who has dropped to the bench, while Duncan Matthews will slot in at left wing.

Nick de Jager makes a return to the No8 spot with Hanro Liebenberg moving to seven. The rest of the pack is unchanged, but Thembelani Bholi drops out of the squad and Rossouw covers outside backs on the bench.

Jason Jenkins and Trevor Nyakane will be reserves.

"He [Odendaal] is not ready, but we will have made sure he comes back for the Chiefs match next week.

"The Reds have strength with their centres and they will target our defence. So we are very fortunate that Johnny Kotze is capable‚" Mitchell said.

After the Reds match‚ the Bulls move to New Zealand to take on the Chiefs and Crusaders before returning home to host the Stormers.