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Flip is in the Bulls' engine room

Wed, 18 Jul 2012 06:21
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The Bulls have been boosted by the return of Springbok lock Flip van der Merwe for their playoff clash with the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.

Van der Merwe missed last weekend's match against the Lions through injury, but makes his return to the side this week and rejoins Juandrè Kruger in the second row.

Wilhelm Steenkamp is the unlucky man to miss out and will continue to add lock cover from the bench, as he has done for most of the season. Steenkamp takes the place of CJ Stander on the bench, with the more experienced Deon Stegmann preferred as the loose forward cover for the clash.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has made no other changes to the side that defeated the Lions as the team prepare for their first ever Super Rugby playoff match.

Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, Wynand Olivier, Mornè Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies, Dewald Potgieter, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle and Dean Greyling have all won Super Rugby medals before, but have not played in a playoff match. The Bulls failed to qualify last year when the new format was introduced for the first time in the competition.

Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Mornè Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 Juandrè Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Deon Stegmann, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouchè, 22 Francois Venter.

Date: Saturday, July 21
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Keith Brown (New Zealand), Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
TMO: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)

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