Two new Bulls for Stormers

Tue, 19 Feb 2013 10:45
Large mapoe bulls bib630 Large mellett yellow card630

Wing Lionel Mapoe and prop Morne Mellett will both make their debut for the Bulls in their Super Rugby opener against the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.

Wing Lionel Mapoe and prop Morne Mellett will both make their debut for the Bulls in their Super Rugby opener against the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.

The two debutants form part of an otherwise experienced unit which includes two Super Rugby centurions and a host of players with more than 40 caps.

Mapoe has played 23 matches for the Lions and five for the Cheetahs before, whilst Mellett toured with the Bulls last year, but did not play in any matches.

Pierre Spies, who captains the side, is one of 11 players who have 40 caps or more at this level.

"We do have an experienced core of players this year and it is something that hopefully will benefit us," Ludeke said on Tuesday.

"Even Mornè Mellett, who will start in his first match, has toured with us and played well in last year's Currie Cup. In this competition one will always be looking at the experienced guys in your team and we are lucky to have a lot of those in important positions," Ludeke said in announcing his team.

Spies said they are looking forward to the start of the season, despite the fact that they are facing the Stormers, who won both encounters between the two sides in 2012.

"They are a formidable side, but this competition is all about measuring yourself against the best out there, as a team and on a personal level. It will be a massive game, as it is not only the traditional North/South derby, it is also two teams with good records in Super Rugby wanting to stake the first claim," Spies said.

"We are at home and would like to give our fans something to look forward to this season. The first step is to start well against the Stormers," he added.

Three Springboks, Dean Greyling, Akona Ndungane and Jacques Potgieter were not considered due to injury, whilst Emerging Springbok lock Wilhelm Steenkamp is also out of action of another two weeks due to a shoulder injury.

Ndungane twisted his ankle in a pre-season clash with the Cheetahs and will not be risked, which sees Mapoe get his first opportunity in the starting line-up, whilst Potgieter is still recovering from a groin niggle and is expected to be back in action next week.

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

Date: Friday, February 22
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rashivenga (South Africa), Stefan Breytenbach (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

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Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
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Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
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Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
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Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
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Fri, 02 October 2015
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26