Matfield back for Bulls
Matfield back for BullsSHARE
Springbok veteran Victor Matfield will start at lock for the Bulls in their clash with the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday.
Matfield was meant to be rested on the Bulls' Australasian tour, but he will slot in next to captain Phillip (Flip) van der Merwe in the second row with Paul Willemse on the replacements bench.
Injuries to loose forwards Deon Stegmann and Dewald Potgieter means that there have been changes to the back row, with Grant Hattingh at No.8 and Jono Ross playing at openside in place of Stegmann whilst Jacques du Plessis comes with Jacques Engelbrecht on the bench in an entirely new loose trio.
The rest of the starting team remains unchanged from the side that went down to the Hurricanes in Wellington last week as the Bulls look for their first win on tour.
William Small-Smith is new on the bench, replacing Ulrich Beyers. If he takes to the field, Small-Smith will make his Super Rugby debut.
Tighthead prop Werner Kruger will play his 100th match, which coach Frans Ludeke said was good reward for his dedication over the years.
"It is great for Werner to play in his 100th match. He has been a real stalwart to the team since his debut in 2008 and has hardly put a foot wrong in all those seasons since.
"He is the first to acknowledge though that personal milestones only mean something if the team function successfully as a unit and that will be something we will strive to achieve," Ludeke said.
Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Johannes Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Grant Hattingh, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Phillip van der Merwe (captain), 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17 Marcel vd Merwe, 18 Paul Willemse, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Pieter van Zyl, 21 Handré Pollard, 22 William Small-Smith, 23 Morné Mellet.
Date: Friday, April 11
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT; 09.35 SAST)
Referee: Rohan Hoffman (Australia)
Assistant referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand),Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)