Ludeke makes 9 changes to Bulls

Injuries and rotation played a major role in Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke’s call to name an almost new side for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Reds in Brisbane.

An unsatisfactory loss to the Crusaders last weekend also resulted in at least four players being ruled out of the remainder of the tour and only six players who started in Christchurch will do so again this weekend.

Fullback Zane Kirchner, outside centre JJ Engelbrecht, halfback Jano Vermaak, no 8 and captain Pierre Spies, flanker Deon Stegmann and loose head prop Mornè Mellett are all in the run-on side again.

The return to fitness of Lionel Mapoe and Bjorn Basson will see both try-scoring aces on the wing, whilst Francois Venter will replace injured Wynand Olivier at inside centre.

Flyhalf Louis Fouchè will also earn a first start in Super Rugby, but the strappy pivot will be playing in his 15th match at this level.

Record-breaking flyhalf and the most experienced player in the side, Mornè Steyn will play off the bench for the first time in a couple of seasons.

Up front, the fit-again Dewald Potgieter takes over from Arno Botha at seven, whilst a new lock combination in Grant Hattingh and Paul Willemse will start for the first time in their Vodacom Bulls careers. Both have started for the MTN Lions last year.

Regular starter Juandrè Kruger will play off the bench and Flip van der Merwe is injured.

Springbok front row players Chiliboy Ralepelle and Werner Kruger also returns to the starting team ahead of Willie Wepener and Frik Kirsten.

On the bench, Ruan Snyman replaces the injured Francois Hougaard. Snyman’s only start for the Bulls was in 2010.

The team (with Super Rugby caps) is: Zane Kirchner (75), Lionel Mapoe (31), JJ Engelbrecht (20), Francois Venter (9), Bjorn Basson (44), Louis Fouchè (14) , Jano Vermaak (92), Pierre Spies (93, c), Dewald Potgieter (55), Deon Stegmann (63), Grant Hattingh (13), Paul Willemse (1), Werner Kruger (79), Chiliboy Ralepelle (56), Mornè Mellett (4). REPLACEMENTS: Willie Wepener (57), Frik Kirsten (19), Juandrè Kruger (21), Jacques Potgieter (16), Ruan Snyman (1), Mornè Steyn (110), Jan Serfontein (2).


•Louis Fouchè, Grant Hattingh and Paul Willemse will all make their run-on debut for the Vodacom Bulls.

•Mornè Steyn could extend his point scoring record of 1269 points (12 tries, 216 conversions, 235 penalties, 24 drop goals) if he takes to the field.

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  1. avatar


    March 20, 2013 at 11:43 am

    With the inconsistency of games so far this tournament I hesitate to say that the Bulls should take the Reds. :?

  2. avatar


    March 20, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Still a strong team – If they play well they should give the Reds a go however the form has been up and down :?

    Money on Reds – heart says Bulls :support:

  3. avatar


    March 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 11:57 am:

    What screwed up my decision making is the Reds losing to the Force

  4. avatar


    March 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Reply to Ollie @ 12:23 pm:

    same here WTF?? I can’t pick my nose never mind a winner at the moment :bangheadt:

    At least the Stormers will beat the Brumbies, right? laughawie:

  5. avatar


    March 20, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 12:25 pm:

    The way things are now the Kings actually have a chance this weekend.

    No, actually, scrap that thought.

  6. avatar


    March 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Reply to Ollie @ 12:29 pm:

    the question is (especially after the Saders last game) – can the Kings keep the Saders below 50?

  7. avatar


    March 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 12:43 pm:

    Big job, but first game on tour, they’re still excited, maybe just.

  8. avatar


    March 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Also depends on the team the Saders put out

  9. avatar


    March 20, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Two rookies at lock.
    Don’t expect a miracle.

  10. DavidS


    March 20, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Willemse is not a rookie.
    Played S15 for Lions and U20 Bok champion squad… also Vodacom Cup and CC for Lions.

  11. avatar


    March 22, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    How did Venter, who did not even tour, now leapfrog Serfontein into the starting line-up?

  12. avatar


    March 22, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Reply to Craven @ 12:53 pm:

    The players all have contracts guaranteeing
    them games, AFAIK. Also has to do with their
    Explains the stupidity when a bench player is
    sent on with 90 seconds left.

  13. avatar


    March 22, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Reply to Craven @ 12:53 pm:

    coach probably believes that Venter is the better option. Does not have to make sense to us, only to the coach.

  14. avatar


    March 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    But why did Venter then not tour with the squad? If olivier did not get injured, Venter would not have been there to play tomorrow. If he is the prefered player over Serfontein, why take Serfontein? Does not compute.

  15. avatar


    March 23, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Reply to Craven @ 7:22 pm:

    Serfontein may have been the back-up for JJ and Venter fits more into the role of Olivier?


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