Maxwane in Bulls shake-up

Thu, 18 May 2017 11:00

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Bulls coach Nollis Marais named University of Pretoria utility back Sibahle Maxwane in his starting XV to face the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The 21-year old will make his Super Rugby debut.

Marais made four changes in total to his backline.

Maxwane replaces injured Jamba Ulengo, while Jan Serfontein starts at centre in place of Jessie Kriel, who moves to fullback.

Francois Brummer starts at flyhalf in place of Tian Schoeman, with Tony Jantjies on the bench and will could brother Elton for the first time in a Super Rugby match when he takes to the field.

Kriel replaces Warrick Gelant at fullback, with the latter dropping down to the replacements bench.

In the only change in the pack , Springbok Lodewyk de Jager moves from the bench into the engine room in place of suspended Rudolph Snyman.

Marais also named uncapped Abongile Nonkontwana on the bench, with the former Blue Bulls Under-21 captain taking over the vacancy left by De Jager.

"We had three debutants last weekend and this weekend two more new faces will play for the Bulls for the first time in what is already a fairly young team," Marais said.

“I have no doubt in their abilities, as I have always believed that age should not impact on selection. Rabs [Maxwane] showed great form and potential for Tuks and was named in the Varsity Cup Dream Team, so that form was widely acknowledged.

"He continued with that in the new domestic provincial competition for the Blue Bulls, scoring a hat-trick in one of the matches, so I am excited to see him perform," Marais said of the former Border Craven Week, Western Province and SA Rugby Sevens Academy player.

"Abongile came through the ranks and his breakthrough into Super Rugby always was a matter of when rather than if. He will also perform well."

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

Date: Saturday, May 20
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Lesego Legoete (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

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