Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke was forced into a couple of changes to his team to face the Waratahs in Sydney on Friday.
Prop Dean Greyling, replacement prop Frik Kirsten, flanker Jacques Potgieter and midfielder Wynand Olivier, who all played in the 41-35 win over the Rebels last week, were ruled out of the clash in the Sydney Football Stadium.
Greyling flew back to South Africa as his wife gave birth yesterday and Kirsten and Potgieter returned to Pretoria after a broken hand and injured knee respectively ended their tour prematurely.
Olivier injured ribs, but should be fit to play next week.
Dawie Steyn will replace Greyling in the front row, while Rayno Gerber, who flew in from South Africa yesterday to join the squad in Sydney, will move to the bench to replace Kirsten.
With open side flanker Deon Stegmann fit again, Ludeke decided to move incumbent CJ Stander to the blind side, where he will replace Potgieter, resulting in a new loose forward combination.
Olivier is replaced by Francois Venter and will team up with Johann Sadie, who swops jerseys with JJ Engelbrecht, the latter moving to the bench and Sadie into the 13 jersey as part of Ludeke’s rotational policy.
Venter and Sadie last combined in the Bulls opening week win over the Sharks.
“We are lucky to have cover in those positions. Francois played very well for us earlier in the season, while Deon is very keen to start contributing again,” Ludeke said.
“Dawie of course, played against the Brumbies three weeks ago and did very well, while Rayno brings massive experience with his inclusion. We need to keep up the momentum of our opening win on tour, but the Waratahs will make it very difficult for us, no doubt.”
Vodacom Bulls captain, Pierre Spies, expressed confidence ahead of the clash.
“We have not played well during week two of previous tours, so we worked on changing the mindset. The win over the Rebels showed what we can do on attack and what work is left on defence. We needed to fix those errors. We hope to deliver an all-round performance against a very dangerous opponent.”
The team to play the Waratahs (with Super caps) is: Zane Kirchner (63), Akona Ndungane (76), Johann Sadie (14), Francois Venter (3), Bjorn Basson (34), Morné Steyn (98), Francois Hougaard (37), Pierre Spies (81), CJ Stander (9), Deon Stegmann (57), Juandré Kruger (9), Flip van der Merwe (41), Werner Kruger (67), Chiliboy Ralepelle (44), Dawie Steyn (1). Replacements: Willie Wepener (45), Rayno Gerber (33), Wilhelm Steenkamp (44), Arno Botha (6), Jano Vermaak (81), Louis Fouché (6), JJ Engelbrecht (9).