Potgieter to lead Bulls' charge

Wed, 26 Jun 2013 10:43
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Experienced Springbok loose forward Dewald Potgieter will captain the Bulls in the absence of injured skipper Pierre Spies.

Experienced Springbok loose forward Dewald Potgieter will captain the Bulls in the absence of injured skipper Pierre Spies.

Potgieter will take charge for the first time this season when and also shift to No.8 in place of Spies, who has been ruled out for the remainder of 2013 with a bicep injury.

The Bulls face the Southern Kings at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday as Super Rugby resumes, after the break for the June Tests.

The starting team shows eight changes from the side which beat the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein before the break.

Potgieter's namesake, Jacques Potgieter, returns to the loose trio at blindside flank for the injured Arno Botha, where he will partner Deon Stegmann, who starts at openside.

Versatile loose forward Jono Ross will make his debut for the Bulls should he get game time off the bench.

At lock, Grant Hattingh comes in for Bok Juandré Kruger, who will start off the bench.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke made a number of changes in the backline.

Springbok fullback Zane Kirchner is back in the starting team after a long injury lay-off, while veterans Akona Ndungane and Wynand Olivier, as well as Louis Fouché will all start against the Kings.

Ndungane replaces the injured Lionel Mapoe at right wing.

Morné Steyn (flyhalf) and JJ Engelbrecht (centre), two of the Springboks' stars in their recent clean-sweep of the four-nation tournament, will both get a break on the bench.

It's Olivier's last game for the Bulls before he leaves for Montpellier in France and he will partner new Springbok centre Jan Serfontein, who moves from inside to outside centre, for the first time in the midfield.

Fouché gets his second start of the year.

"It's good to have a few of our frontline players back as we head into the business end of the competition, especially since we've lost a few players to injury," Ludeke said.

"This is a massive game for us - each game in Super Rugby is - but we've set our goals for the season and now is the time to make sure we achieve them. The Kings will not be an easy opponent, as there is no such thing in this competition.

"We simply need to ensure we stick to what has been working for us thus far this year and the guys who are getting opportunities need to put their hands up on Saturday."

Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Juandré Kruger, 19 Jono Ross, 20 Rudi Paige, 21 Morné Steyn, 22 JJ Engelbrecht.

Date: Saturday, June 29
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT)
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa), Cobus Wessels (South Africa)
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee (South Africa)

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Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
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Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
Fri, 05 May 2017
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RESULT SCORE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 57 | 14
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10