Regular Vodacom Bulls captain, Flip van der Merwe, is back at the helm of the team to face the Brumbies in a Vodacom Super Rugby match in Pretoria on Friday. Van der Merwe missed three matches due to suspension and is one of three changes to the side that beat the DHL Stormers two weeks ago.
Van der Merwe replaces Paul Willemse in the number four jumper while Werner Kruger rotates as tight-head prop with Marcel van der Merwe. Jacques-Louis Potgieter swops the bench and the number ten jersey with Handrè Pollard in the only change at the back.
Wimpie van der Walt makes way for Willemse on the bench. Ulrich Beyers also comes onto the bench in place of William Small-Smith, who is ill.
Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke welcomed Van der Merwe back into the fold.
“Flip’s leadership is very important to the team and as a senior player he does set an excellent example. We will need to be at our best in facing a Brumbies side that has played some great rugby this year. We have made slight changes for the match and rotated certain players and I believe we will be competitive come Friday.”
Van der Merwe is keen to get back into action.
“We are well rested following a bye last week and we trained well this week. It is important to start the match with a lot of energy and I believe everyone will do so. We don’t look ahead in the competition, but know how important a win will be with regards to a possible play-off spot,” Van der Merwe said.
The team (with number of Super Rugby caps) is: Jurgen Visser (22), Akona Ndungane (105), JJ Engelbrecht (45), Jan Serfontein (24), Bjorn Basson (67), Jacques-Louis Potgieter (52), Francois Hougaard (68), Grant Hattingh (31), Jacques du Plessis (13), Jono Ross (15), Victor Matfield (135), Flip van der Merwe (70, c), Werner Kruger (104), Callie Visagie (34), Dean Greyling (50). Replacements: Bongo Mbonambi (12), Morne Mellett (20), Marcel van der Merwe (15), Paul Willemse (16), Jacques Engelbrecht (23), Piet van Zyl (40), Handrè Pollard (10), Ulrich Beyers (8).