Stegmann to lead Bulls
Stegmann to lead BullsSHARE
Springbok flank Deon Stegmann will lead the Bulls on Saturday when they take on the Lions in the Gauteng Challenge at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
The veteran flank makes a welcome comeback to the playing field after being sidelined with injury for most of the 2012 season and will lead a team that combines youth and experience and some new faces.
Stegmann is one of four Springboks in the starting line-up – which will also see 2012 Junior Bok gold medallists Travis Ismaiel, Jan Serfontein and Paul Willemse take the field, with Wiaan Liebenberg and Handré Pollard on the bench.
Lionel Mapoe, on loan from the Lions, will start at outside centre.
The Bulls were forced into a late change – with Louis Fouché ruled out and replaced by Tian Schoeman.
"This is exciting times for us," said Bulls coach, Frans Ludeke.
"We are at the start of a new season and we cannot wait to get going. We have big plans and big dreams for 2013 and are keen to start. The Lions have played twice now and have that advantage, but we have worked hard in training and will give it a full go."
Stegmann, who will return to Orlando Stadium, said the experience gained from the 2010 Final is something they hope to use.
"The atmosphere was amazing then and it is good to be able to go back and play in front of our fans again. The Lions will certainly not make it easy, as they have a lot to prove, so we will have to find our combinations and feet from the start."
Bulls: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jean Cook, 6 Deon Stegmann (captain), 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Hencus van Wyk, 18 Wiaan Liebenberg, 19 Cornell Hess, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Handré Pollard, 22 Ulrich Beyers, 23 Jacques du Plessis.
Date: Saturday, February 2
Venue: Orlando Stadium, Soweto
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Sindile Mayende