Bulls name Pollard as 'late replacement'

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:21
Large handre pollard bulls looks 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Blue Bulls have been forced into making a replacement to their team, with Springbok flyhalf Handré Pollard cracking a spot on the replacement bench.

Coach John Mitchell initially made just a couple of changes to his team for the Currie Cup crunch mat against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

Johnny Kotze will start on the wing and Conraad van Vuuren at tighthead.

However, Manie Libbok was withdrawn from the squad on Thursday, due to an issue with his Appendix.

He was then replaced by Pollard.

Mitchell, with the official title of Executive of Rugby, initially declined to use Pollard and scrumhalf Rudy Paige - after they were released from Springbok duty this week.

The injury to Libbok opened the door for Pollard.

However, there is still no place for Paige, with fellow Bok Piet van Zyl on the bench.

The inclusion of Kotze is a first start in light blue for the former Western Province midfielder, after coming off the bench twice earlier in the competition.

Van Vuuren, who last started against the Pumas in Nelspruit in August, is the other change in the run-on team from last weekend.

Mitchell, with the official title of Executive of Rugby, also opted for Ulrich Beyers on the bench - with the utility back due for a first appearance in this year's competition.

The team will again be captained by Burger Odendaal.

Blue Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Burger Odendaal (captain), 12 John Jackson, 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Jano Venter, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Nic de Jager, 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Matthys Basson, 18 Tim Agaba, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Handré Pollard, 22 Ulrich Beyers.

Date: Saturday, September 23
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Ruhan Meiring, Rodney Boneparte
TMO: Christie du Preez

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