The Vodacom Bulls have named a 31-men European touring squad that will do battle in the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup against Lyon and the 2022/23 Vodacom United Rugby Championship versus Scarlets.
The side departs OR Tambo International Airport – on Tuesday 17 January 2023 – headed to France for their round 4 tie against Lyon in the Heineken Champions Cup at the Matmut Stadium de Gerland. The fixture is set for Friday 20 January 2023, with kick-off set for 21:00pm local time, 22:00pm South African Time. Thereafter, the Pretoria outfit will fly to the United Kingdom, to begin preparations for round 13 of the 2022/23 Vodacom United Rugby Championship. Ruan Nortje’s herd will face Scarlets at the Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli on Friday 27 January 2023, with kick-off set for 19:35pm local time, 21:35pm South African Time.
The Vodacom Bulls begin their travel up North on a quest to confirm progress into the round of 16 in the Heineken Champions Cup whilst also looking to cement a spot in the playoffs of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, where they currently rank 3rd behind the Stormers and Leinster respectively.
VODACOM BULLS TRAVELLING SQUAD: 1. Ruan Nortje (c), 2. Simphiwe Matanzima, 3. Bismarck Du Plessis, 4. Francois Klopper, 5. Ruan Vermaak, 6. Janko Swanepoel, 7. Marco Van Staden, 8. Cyle Brink, 9. Embrose Papier, 10. Johan Goosen, 11. David Kriel, 12. Gerhard Steenekamp, 13. Johan Grobbelaar, 14. Mornay Smith, 16. Reinhardt Ludwig, 17. Wandisile Simelane, 18. Dylan Smith, 19. Nizaam Carr, 20. Elrigh Louw, 21. Zak Burger, 22. Chris Smith, 23. Stravino Jacobs, 24. Jan Hendrik Wessels, 25. Kurt-Lee Arendse, 26. Harold Vorster, 27. Lionel Mapoe, 28. Canan Moodie, 29. Bernard Van Der Linde, 30. Morne Steyn, 31. Cornal Hendricks
MANAGEMENT: 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 Mayer – Physiotherapist, Elias Bennett – Team Manager, Simon Dyidi – Logistics Manager
VODACOM BULLS HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP FIXTURES:
Saturday, 10 December 2022: Vodacom Bulls 42-36 Lyon
Saturday, 17 December 2022: Exeter Chiefs 44-14 Vodacom Bulls
Saturday, 14 January 2023: Vodacom Bulls 39-28 Exeter Chiefs
Friday, 20 January 2023: Lyon vs Vodacom Bulls