Vodacom Bulls captain, Ruan Nortje returns to lead the herd as BBCo Director of Rugby, Jake White rings changes to the matchday 23 heading for Cape Town. The Pretoria outfit heads to the DHL Stadium for round 10 of the 2022/23 Vodacom United Rugby Championship fixture against the DHL Stormers.
Scrum-half, Embrose Papier starts with Zak Burger primed to get a run from the bench. Lionel Mapoe slots in at outside centre with David Kriel still sidelined through injury. On the bench, Bismarck du Plessis comes in for Jan-Hendrik Wessels with Sebastian Lombard replacing Francois Klopper and Stravino Jacobs completing the impact squad at 23.
Nortje’s men head to the Cape for the first time since their valiant defeat in last season’s final. However, Nortje says that is all in the past and the team looks forward to a mouth-watering clash as they carve out new memories.
“It was a special game to be a part of, where there had to be a loser and a winner and unfortunately for us that day we came just short. It was obviously tough to lose in the final but we have put the past behind us and have had an exciting week as we build up to the match because the North versus South derby is always massive, for all of us.”
The Vodacom Bulls skipper also gave credit to the director of rugby, Jake White, for how he has managed player welfare in Pretoria.
“Jake is brilliant, we all understand the big idea behind player management and creating depth across the various facets of our game, so the break was welcomed – especially for me – now we return feeling fresh having gotten some rest after what has been a hectic couple of months on the field” concludes Nortje.
VODACOM BULLS 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. Canan Moodie, 12. Harold Vorster, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 14. Cornal Hendricks, 15. Kurt-Lee Arendse
VODACOM BULLS IMPACT SQUAD:
16. Bismarck Du Plessis, 17. Simphiwe Matanzima, 18. Sebastian Lombard, 19. Janko Swanepoel, 20. Nizaam Carr, 21. Zak Burger, 22. Chris Smith, 23. Stravino Jacobs
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