Bulls have a new captain

Thu, 11 May 2017 10:27
Large hanro liebenberg bulls 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Hanro Liebenberg will lead the Bulls against the Highlanders in Pretoria on Saturday.

Liebenberg will hence become the 19th player to lead the Bulls since the inception of the Super Rugby competition.

The former Junior Springboks captain missed out on last weekend's defeat against the Crusaders due to a hamstring strain and comes back into the team in place of Renaldo Bothma.

Liebenberg takes over the captain's armband from Adriaan Strauss, who has a foot injury.

Strauss will undergo scans to determine the extent of his injury.

Travis Ismaiel and Jacques Potgieter has also been ruled out from last week's team.

They will be replaced by Jade Stighling and Jannes Kirsten respectively. Kirsten played off the bench last weekend, but it will be a debut for Stighling, who turns 24 later this month.

The wing, who was schooled at Hans Moore High in Benoni, has represented the Blue Bulls at age group level and Currie Cup since 2013, but now gets a first start for the Bulls.

Marais made a number of personnel changes to the pack.

Jaco Visagie (for the injured Strauss), Lizo Gqoboka (for Pierre Schoeman), Rudolph Snyman (for Lodewyk de Jager) and a fit-again Ruan Steenkamp (for Nick de Jager) will all start this week.  

Edgar Marutlulle is also back in the matchday 23 to fill the vacancy left by Visagie's promotion, while Coenraad van Vuuren was named as back-up tighthead. He takes over from Jacobie Adriaanse.

Van Vuuren joined the Bulls on tour in New Zealand, but did not play, so could make his debut for the team if he takes to the field.

There is also a potential debut for flyhalf Tony Jantjies, who was named on the bench in place of injured Francois Brummer. The 25-year old Jantjies will make his Bulls and Super Rugby debut, should he take to the field.

Coach Nollis Marais said the changes was needed to freshen up his team's effort.

"To lose two Springboks in your pack is never nice and Travis was playing some great rugby as well," Marais said.

"But we have had no luck with injuries, so I have accepted that part of the deal. What I can't accept though are the results we are producing. It does not do justice to the hard work being put in by all. We need to be better at a number of things and I believe we did the necessary adjustments to beat the Highlanders."

Liebenberg was keen for his team to front up against the New Zealand side.

"It is a massive honour to lead this team and what it stands for, but Saturday's effort will not be about me at all," Liebenberg said.

"It will be about the team taking responsibility of our performance out there. The challenge is massive, as the Highlanders are one formidable opponent, but we have to start showing progress and reward for the hard work."

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (captain), 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Rudolph Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 Coenraad van Vuuren, 19 Lodewyk de Jager, 20 Nick de Jager, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Tony Jantjies, 23 Jan Serfontein.

Date: Saturday, May 13
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 15.05 (13.05 GMT; 01.05 NZ time, Sunday, May 14)
Referee: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 17h00 Bloemfontein
Sat, 22 July 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 07h35 Christchurch
Lions v Sharks 12h30 Johannesburg
Stormers v Chiefs 15h00 Cape Town
Griquas v Blue Bulls 17h30 Kimberley
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 12h30 Nelspruit
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 21 July 2017
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
Highlanders v Reds 40 | 17
Sat, 08 July 2017
Stormers v Sunwolves 52 | 15
Bulls v Kings 30 | 31
Waratahs v Jaguares 27 | 40
New Zealand v B&I Lions 15 | 15
Fri, 07 July 2017
Force v Rebels 31 | 22
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28