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Spies joins centurion club

Wed, 15 May 2013 11:15
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My focus and that of the team is fully set on the Highlanders
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It will be a special day for Bulls stalwarts Pierre Spies and Morné Steyn at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, when their team takes on the Highlanders in a Super Rugby clash.

Spies will play in his 100th Super Rugby match for his team, becoming the eighth player from the franchise to reach that mark.

His debut for the team was against the self-same Highlanders, but in Dunedin and on the wing way back in 2005.

Steyn will become the most capped Bulls player in Super Rugby, playing in his 117th match for the franchise and will move past Victor Matfield and Danie Rossouw's 116-match mark.

The other centurions for the franchise are Bakkies Botha (100), Wynand Olivier (108), Fourie du Preez (112), Pedrie Wannenburg (113), Danie Rossouw (116) and Victor Matfield.

Steyn could also improve on a number of scoring records in Super Rugby - 1349 points (251 penalties, 228 conversions and 25 drop goals). He has also scored 13 tries.

The milestones will be celebrated away from the field as the real business on it will be to secure a good win over a very dangerous opponent, Spies said on Wednesday when the Bulls team was announced for the clash.

"These milestones are special, but there is a place for that," the Bulls captain said.

"My focus and that of the team is fully set on the Highlanders and what we need to do to beat them. We did very well against the Hurricanes two weeks ago, had a week's break and now need to find that rhythm and momentum again."

There have been five changes to the starting side that scored the bonus point win over the Hurricanes.

Three of those are in the backline and two in the front row.

Jan Serfontein returns to inside centre ahead of Wynand Olivier, Lionel Mapoe swaps his place on the bench with Bjorn Basson and will play left wing, while Francois Hougaard replaces Jano Vermaak at scrumhalf.

Up front Frik Kirsten and Morné Mellett take over the propping duties from Werner Kruger and Dean Greyling.

In a change on the bench, Callie Visagie takes over from Willie Wepener.

Bulls: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Lionel Mapoe, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Morné Mellett.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Bjorn Basson.

Date: Saturday, May 18
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT; 03.05 Sunday, May 19 NZ time)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry (South Africa), Attie Buitendag (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

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