Jake White has named a strong Bulls starting XV for the top of the table clash with the Sharks in Durban on Saturday 12 December.
White is under no illusions as to the enormity of the task of coming away from Kings Park with a victory and has given the job to what could be considered largely a ‘First XV’.
Bulls bring their A-team
Morne Steyn is once again paired with Ivan van Zyl with the pair at the heart of the Bulls excellent form this season.
The Sharks were bossed at Loftus in Super Rugby Unlocked and the switch of competition in name would not have erased the memory of that drubbing. The Bulls Director of Rugby feels the Sharks will prove formidable opponents.
“The Sharks have been the in-form team from earlier this year and will be looking to get one over us,” said White.
“Durban is never an easy place to play and coupled with the humidity our job becomes that much harder. However, we are confident in our style of play and we know exactly what we need to do come Saturday.”
White has seen fit to grant a first Currie Cup start to winger Marnus Potgieter. The back-three is completed by fullback David Kriel and left-wing Kurt-Lee Arendse who resume their regular positions after trading places for the victory over the Cheetahs in round two.
Jacques van Rooyen returns to the Bulls front row after serving a suspension for his red card in the match against Western Province.
Ruan Nortje returns to the Starting XV at lock with Sintu Manjezi providing cover from the bench, in a straight swap from last round’s matchday squad.
According to the Bulls team release: “Schalk Erasmus makes a welcomed return as the replacement hooker and will earn his Vodacom Bulls debut in the Carling Currie Cup should he take the field. Young Mornay Smith is also expected to earn his first cap of the season as front row cover.”
Bulls team vs Sharks at Kings Park
Vodacom Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Mornay Smith, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren.
Match information – Sharks vs Bulls
Date: Saturday, 12 December 2020
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: Stuart Berry, Aimee Barrett-Theron
TMO: Marius Jonker
TV: SuperSport Rugby and Grandstand