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Johan Goosen will get his first Vodacom Bulls start in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship since recovering from his shoulder repair seven weeks ago. The fly-half returns to the mix as the 2022/23 campaign nears the business end, beginning with the round 17 clash against Italians, Zebre Parma at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday 15 April, at 13h00pm.

The two sides form part of the tournament’s first double-header outing to be staged outside of the United Kingdom, with four teams on the bill.

Goosen slots in at 10 alongside scrum-half, Embrose Papier as they both form the halfback combination. A forwards pack with Gerhard Steenekamp, Johan Grobbelaar and Mornay Smith in the front row will be ahead of the pair, supported by Ruan Vermaak and club captain, Ruan Nortje at lock. Marco van Staden, Cyle Brink and Elrigh Louw will add weight from the back row.

The backline will have David Kriel (left) and Canan Moodie (right) in the wings. Harold Vorster (inside) and Stedman Gans  (outside) will combine as the centre pairing with Kurt-Lee Arendse at full-back.

Bismarck du Plessis, Dylan Smith, Francois Klopper, Janko Swanepoel, WJ Steenkamp, Keagan Johannes, Chris Smith and Cornal Hendricks will potentially get a run from the bench.

VODACOM BULLS vs ZEBRE PARMA STARTING XV: 1. Gerhard Steenekamp, 2. Johan Grobbelaar, 3. Mornay Smith, 4. Ruan Vermaak, 5. Ruan Nortje (c), 6. Marco van Staden, 7. Cyle Brink, 8. Elrigh Louw, 9. Embrose Papier, 10. Johan Goosen, 11. David Kriel, 12. Harold Vorster, 13. Stedman Gans, 14. Canan Moodie, 15. Kurt-Lee Arendse

VODACOM BULLS IMPACT SQUAD: 16. Bismarck du Plessis, 17. Dylan Smith, 18. Francois Klopper, 19. Janko Swanepoel, 20. WJ Steenkamp, 21. Keagan Johannes, 22. Chris Smith, 23. Cornal Hendricks

MANAGEMENT: Jake White – Director of Rugby, Nollis Marais – Breakdown, Russell Winter – Forwards, Chris Rossouw – Backs, Werner Kruger – Scrum Coach, Pine Pienaar – Defense Coach, Andre Volsteedt – Strength & Conditioning, John-William Meyer – Technical Analyst, Dr. Herman Rossouw – Team Doctor, Lance Lemmetjies – Senior Physiotherapist, Kyle Meyer – Physiotherapist, Elias Bennett – Team Manager, Zama Dyidi – Logistics Manager

The full schedule for round 17 at Emirates Airline Park is:

Saturday 15 April 2023

Vodacom United Rugby Championship – Round 17

13h00pm – Vodacom Bulls vs Zebre Parma

16h00pm – Emirates Lions vs Leinster

** all games at Emirates Airline Park

All games will be broadcast live on SuperSport in South Africa and across the African continent, plus Viaplay, Premier Sports,TG4, RTÉ , Discovery + & in other territories. Games are live on FloRugby for fans watching from the USA.

Tickets for the fixtures can be purchased through the Vodacom Bulls App and TicketPro

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