BBCo. Director of Rugby, Jake White has named his Vodacom Bulls travelling squad for their Pool A fixture against Exeter Chiefs in round 2 of the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup.
The South vs North battle is pencilled in for Saturday 17 December 2022 at Sandy Park, in Exeter. Kick-off is 13h00 local time (15h00 South African Standard Time)
White and his 29-man strong side depart for the United Kingdom on Tuesday 13 December 2022 where they will continue with their preparations for the weekend.
“We would like to do well in both the Heineken Champions Cup and the Vodacom United Rugby Championship but we must also be honest with ourselves in understanding the demanding travelling schedule. We travel to Exeter now and then return to face the defending champions, Stormers the following weekend so selection is about making use of the resources at your disposal, but this doesn’t mean we are going into the game saying it doesn’t count,”
“We want to win as many times as we can and when they come to visit us in January in 40 degree weather, coming out of their winter, it will be a daunting task for them and maybe that will give us a chance to find a way into the top 16 of the competition” commented White.
The side is beaming with confidence after an enthralling game of rugby at fortress Loftus on Saturday 10th December, where the herd registered a 42-36 victory over French side, Lyon. However, White is expecting a tough clash against a side that is hard to beat at home.
“They were champions two years ago and they have internationals in almost every position playing in a tough venue to win at but I am expecting us to roll up our sleeves, to embrace the fact that we are going to a place where things will be tough but we must stand as man and give it a fair crack,”
“We leave our home advantage with our loyal fans, traveling into minus 5 degrees with only one training session [in England] but we must stand and make sure that we are ready to give it as best a short as we can. No one gave us a chance last week against Lyon but what this team has done since I have been here, is accepting the challenge and often achieved results,”
“The average age of our group is 22, these are youngsters and I want the senior players to help teach the youngsters about the tough days because these are the tough days; with big expectations playing against big teams on the road,”
“This will be a fantastic opportunity for the young guys to grow and experience what its like to be a professional player in a pressured situation. As a club team, travelling to where we are at the back of who we played, generally it doesn’t get tougher than this at club rugby” the Vodacom Bulls mentor concluded.
Vodacom Bulls fans will be able to watch the game LIVE on SuperSport Rugby.
VODACOM BULLS TRAVELLING SQUAD:
1. Dylan Smith, 2. Bismarck Du Plessis, 3. Sebastian Lombard, 4. Reinhardt Ludwig, 5. Janko 6. Swanepoel, 7. Nizam Carr, 8. Muller Uys, 9. Wj Steenkamp, 10. Bernard Van Der Linde, 11. Morne Steyn, 12. Stravino Jacobs, 13. Carlton Bannies, 14. Stedman Gans, 15. Sibongile Novuka, 16. Lizo Gooboka, 17. Joe Van Zyl, 18. Jacques Van Rooyen, 19. Merwe Olivier, 20. Cameron Hanekom, 21. Phumzile Maqondwana, 22. Tielman Nieuwoudt, 23. Keagan Johannes, 24. Chris Barend Smit, 25. Niel Le Roux, 26. Kabelo Mokoena, 27. Juan Mostert, 28. Wandisile Simelane, 29. Tian Lange
MANAGEMENT: Jake White – Director of Rugby, Nollis Marais – Breakdown, Russell Winter – Forwards, Chris Rossouw – Backs, Elias Bennett – Team Manager, John-William Meyer – Technical Analyst, Dr Herman Rossouw – Team Doctor, Lance Lemmetjies – Senior Physiotherapist
VODACOM BULLS HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP FIXTURES:
Saturday, 10 December 2022: Vodacom Bulls 42-36 Lyon
Saturday, 17 December 2022: Exeter Chiefs vs Vodacom Bulls
Saturday, 14 January 2023: Vodacom Bulls vs Exeter Chiefs
Friday, 20 January 2023: Lyon vs Vodacom Bulls