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Bulls banking on squad system

Thu, 31 Jan 2013 10:35
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Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said the Pretoria-based franchise did not use the squad system to its fullest in last year's competition.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said the Pretoria-based franchise did not use the squad system to its fullest in last year's competition and they would look to make better use of their depth this season.

Ludeke will have his first opportunity to test the strength of the less experienced and fringe players for this purpose when they play the Golden Lions in their first warm-up match in the Gauteng Challenge at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
 
"It is important to have a group, we didn't really use our squad well last year and we would like to improve on that," Ludeke said.
 
"It is a long competition and it is important that there are 28 to 32 players that can put their hands up and that is the goal with this weekend."
 
Bulls flank Deon Stegmann will lead a youthful team which include five 2012 Junior Springbok gold medallists in the match-day 22.
 
The veteran, who has played in six Tests for South Africa since his debut in 2010, makes a welcome comeback to the playing field after being side-lined with injury for most of the 2012 season and will lead a team that combines youth and experience and some new faces.
 
Junior Springboks Travis Ismaiel, Jan Serfontein, and Paul Willemse will be in the run-on side, while Wiaan Liebenberg and Handré Pollard could make an impact off the bench.
 
"These are exciting times for us," Ludeke said.
 
"We are at the start of a new season and we cannot wait to get going.
 
"We have big plans and big dreams for 2013 and are keen to start. The Lions have played twice now and have that advantage, but we have worked hard in training and will give it a full go."
 
The majority of the team is unlikely to be part of the core that will play in this year's Super Rugby season, but Ludeke said the players would be part of their greater Super Rugby squad.
 
"Everyone is in with a chance to play in Super Rugby and these players could have an opportunity to play in the competition," he said.
 
Ludeke said it was important to get the season off to a good start as they did last year but they would have to rely more on the squad system when mental fatigue kicked in midway through the season.
 
"We'll see when a player is overplayed, when there is mental fatigue, and some niggling injuries then you won't have any options but to rest a player," Ludeke said.
 
The match will also see Lionel Mapoe, on loan from the Lions, start at outside centre against his teammates from the other side of the Jukskei River.
 
The Bulls were, however, still sweating over the availability of flyhalf Louis Fouche, who was nursing an injury.
 
This could open the door for teenage flyhalf Pollard to make his debut for the team with Tiaan Schoeman moving into the 22.
 
Ludeke said the team needed to be competitive constantly throughout the season if they wanted to claim the Super Rugby title for the fourth time.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 05 September 2015
Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets 16h15 Scotstoun
Golden Lions v EP Kings 17h10 Ellis Park
Munster v Treviso 18h45 Musgrave Park
France v Scotland 19h00 Paris
Sun, 06 September 2015
United States v Australia 23h30 Chicago
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 13h30 Cardiff
Fri, 11 September 2015
EP Kings v Free State Cheetahs 17h10 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Dragons v Zebre 18h05 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht 18h35 Scotstoun
Sat, 12 September 2015
Griquas v Pumas 22h00 Kimberley
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 05 September 2015
England v Ireland 21 | 13
Sharks v Pumas 27 | 26
Fri, 04 September 2015
Edinburgh v Leinster 16 | 9
Ulster v Ospreys 28 | 6
Connacht v Dragons 29 | 23
Blue Bulls v Free State Cheetahs 24 | 17
Sat, 29 August 2015
EP Kings v Sharks 20 | 24
Scotland v Italy 48 | 7
Samoa v Barbarians 24 | 27
Ireland v Wales 10 | 16
Griquas v Blue Bulls 32 | 46
Fri, 28 August 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 28 | 21
Pumas v Golden Lions 11 | 41
Sat, 22 August 2015
Canada v United States 23 | 41
France v England 25 | 20
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Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
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Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
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