Nothing friendly about SuperHero Sunday for Bulls and Lions
Preseason derby offers a chance to see what the Gauteng rugby teams have to offer for this season
There will be nothing friendly about SuperHero Sunday for the Bulls when they line up against the Lions in the preseason derby encounter at FNB Stadium.
Juandré Kruger‚ Morné Steyn and Josh Strauss are just some of the seasoned rugby heads that will be starting for the Bulls as they have decided to mix and match youth and experience.
Steyn will be starting in his preferred flyhalf berth while Kruger and Strauss will be starting at lock and No 8.
Bulls coach Pote Human said the benching of Manie Libbok was a case of knowing what they have in him while Steyn is in great physical shape.
“Everyone knows what Manie is capable of, but I’d like to see what Morné brings. He’s fit, and when he came back he was in excellent condition.
“We’ll give him an opportunity, and we’ll do the same with Manie as he’s very good when he’s got space to work with. So we’ll see what happens when we give him a run‚” Human said.
With Springbok props Lizo Gqoboka and Trevor Nyakane not starting‚ Simphiwe Matanzima and Wiehahn Herbst will be packing in the front row with Jaco Visagie at hooker while Muller Uys and Wian Vosloo start at flank.
Nyakane was injured during the Springboks’ opening World Cup game against New Zealand and subsequently missed the rest of the tournament.
Human said the strong and versatile front rower made an excellent recovery and he expected Nyakane and Gqoboka to be ready for the Bulls’ opening Super Rugby game against the Sharks on January 31 at Kings Park
“He’s working very hard on his rehab. I hope he’ll be ready to fall in with us next week and be available for the Sharks game‚” Human said.
The Bulls backs have a strong look to them with Cornal Hendricks starting at 13 and Johnny Kotze filling in at right-wing.
Warrick Gelant will start at fullback while Rosko Specman gets to play in his preferred left-wing position.
Embrose Papier will be on the bench deputising for Ivan van Zyl while the squad will be captained by Burger Odendaal for the season.
The inside centre‚ who watched a number of Bulls captains suffer injuries last season‚ said they are champing at the bit for Sunday’s fixture
“There’s a lot of excitement‚ especially with the younger guys. There are a lot of youngsters getting an opportunity to play on the senior stage. We’ve had a pretty long preseason‚” Odendaal said.