The Vodacom Bulls will bid farewell to club legend, Morné Steyn and Springbok legend, Bismarck du Plessis. The pair will run out in what will be their final outing in the iconic blue, playing against the Toyota Cheetahs on Saturday afternoon, in the final round of the regulation phase of the 2023 Currie Cup competition.
Kick off for the clash is set for 15h00pm, at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
Director of Rugby, Jake White has made a few rotation changes to his matchday 23. At the front, Mornay Smith (tighthead prop) swaps places with Francois Klopper who goes to the impact squad, whilst Ruan Nortje (Lock) comes in for Janko Swanepoel who will also get a chance to run from the bench. Cyle Brink (open-side flanker) returns to the matchday 23 having fully recovered from the flu and he will line up alongside Elrigh Louw who will run out at eight with Nizaam Carr shifting to the impact squad.
The rest of the forwards’ pack will see Gerhard Steenekamp (loosehead prop), Jan-Hendrik Wessels (hooker), Ruan Vermaak (Lock) and Marcell Coetzee (blind-side flanker) all add their weight as the herd looks to confirm their final four berth.
In the backline, Morné Steyn will start at flyhalf with Chris Smith primed for a run from the bench. Steyn will pair up with Embrose Papier at halfback. Both David Kriel (left) and Cornal Hendricks (right) will get to run out on the wings whilst Johan Goosen’s services have also been retained at fullback. The only other change at the back is that of returning Harold Vorster (inside), pairing up with Stedman Gans (outside) at centre.
The Vodacom Bulls will have fresh legs to call upon in the form of Bismarck Du Plessis who slots into the impact squad alongside Kloppers, Swanepoel, Carr, and Smith. Simphiwe Matanzima, Keagan Johannes and Wandile Simelane have all been retained from the week before.
The fixture will also be a farewell outing for team physiotherapist, Kyle Meyer, who has been running with the team for the last 7 years.
VODACOM BULLS vs TOYOTA CHEETAHS STARTING XV: 1. Gerhard Steenekamp (Naka Bulle), 2. Jan-Hendrik Wessels (Pretoria), 3. Mornay Smith (Centurion), 4. Ruan Vermaak (Naka Bulle), 5. Ruan Nortje (Naka Bulle), 6. Marcell Coetzee (c) (Naka Bulle), 7. Cyle Brink (Centurion), 8. Elrigh Louw (UP Tuks), 9. Embrose Papier (UP Tuks), 10. Morné Steyn (Tuine), 11. David Kriel (Centurion), 12. Harold Vorster (Northam Rhinos), 13. Stedman Gans (Northam Rhinos), 14. Cornal Hendricks (Northam Rhinos), 15. Johan Goosen (Naka Bulle)
VODACOM BULLS IMPACT SQUAD: 16. Simphiwe Matanzima (Naka Bulle), 17. Bismarck Du Plessis (Centurion), 18. Francois Klopper (Tuine), 19. Janko Swanepoel (Pretoria), 20. Nizaam Carr (Harlequins), 21. Keagan Johannes (UP Tuks), 22. Chris Smith (Harlequins), 23. Wandisile Simelane (Centurion)
MANAGEMENT: Jake White – Director of Rugby, Sean Everitt – Defence & Breakdown, Hugo van As – Backline, Gert Smal – Forwards, Andre Volsteedt – Strength & Conditioning, John-William Meyer – Technical Analyst, Yusuf Vahed – Sports Scientist, Dr. Herman Rossouw – Team Doctor, Lance Lemmetjies – Senior Physiotherapist, Kyle Meyer – Physiotherapist, Elias Bennett – Team Manager, Zama Dyidi – Logistics Manager