Jake White. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Jake White. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Jake White has made five changes to the Bulls’ starting line-up for their round-two match of Super Rugby Unlocked against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday night.      

Captain Duane Vermeulen returns at No 8 with Tim Agaba rested while the powerful Johan Grobbelaar has been given a starting opportunity in the middle of the scrum alongside Trevor Nyakane and Jacques van Rooyen.

“We struggled to get going against the Griquas and we cannot afford the same against a strong Cheetahs team. We were fortunate to walk away with last week’s win and we need to do better by implementing our style of play in this clash as soon as possible‚” said White.

Embrose Papier replaces fellow Springbok scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl, who drops to the bench‚ while Jade Stighling slots in on the left-wing in place of Travis Ismaiel.

Clinton Swart will take care of the inside-centre channel alongside Cornal Hendricks‚ who has moved to outside-centre, with Stedman Gans moving to the bench‚ where his knack for exploiting gaps will be used when the backs of the opposition start to tire.

Interest will be on the midfield combination of Swart and Hendricks whose pace and strength is expected to come in handy against a Free State outfit brimming with confidence after handing the Pumas a huge defeat last week.

The bench has also been tweaked with under-21 star Joe van Zyl set to receive his first senior cap if he is called upon while Gerhard Steenekamp replaces the injured Lizo Gqoboka‚ who sustained a calf injury against Griquas.

Nizaam Carr is the final change among the replacements; the Springbok loose forward comes in for Elrigh Louw. 

Bulls: Gio Aplon‚ David Kriel, Cornal Hendricks‚ Clinton Swart‚  Jade Stighling‚ Morné Steyn‚ Embrose Papier‚ Duane Vermeulen (captain)‚ Arno Botha‚ Marco van Staden‚ Ruan Nortje‚ Jason Jenkins‚ Trevor Nyakane‚ Johan Grobbelaar‚ Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements: Joe van Zyl‚ Gerhard Steenekamp‚ Mornay Smith‚  Sintu Manjezi‚ Nizaam Carr‚ Ivan van Zyl‚ Chris Smith‚ Stedman Gans.

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