Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke made two changes to his run-on team to face the MTN Lions in a Vodacom Super Rugby match at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday.
JJ Engelbrecht replaces Johann Sadie at outside centre and Wilhelm Steenkamp comes in for Juandré Kruger at lock in the changes to the side that won against the Crusaders last weekend. Sadie en Kruger moves to the bench.
It will be a first start for Engelbrecht, who has played all six matches of the season off the bench. Steenkamp last started for the Vodacom Bulls on April 17th 2009 against the Brumbies, but has started matches for the Sharks and Cheetahs in Super Rugby during stints in 2010 and 2011.
Ludeke attributed the changes to his squad system.
“You don’t win this competition with 15 players, but with a squad of around 25 to 30 players,” the coach said.
“This is a great opportunity for JJ and Wilhelm to start a match. The Lions attack puts a massive strain on defences and it is good to know we can start with two players that have fresh legs. Juandré and Johann still have a huge role to play when they will be called upon off the bench.”
Vodacom Bulls captain Pierre Spies indicated an expected urgency from the Lions, playing in front of their home fans.
“It is a derby, so things will be pretty physical and tough. We will have to execute our basics very well in order to control the tempo of the match. Few teams run defences as ragged as the Lions,” Spies warned.
The Vodacom Bulls team to play the Lions (with Super caps) is: Zane Kirchner (60), Akona Ndungane (73), JJ Engelbrecht (6), Wynand Olivier (92), Bjorn Basson (31), Morné Steyn (95), Francois Hougaard (34), Pierre Spies (78, c), Jacques Potgieter (6), CJ Stander (6), Wilhelm Steenkamp (41), Flip van der Merwe (40), Werner Kruger (64), Chiliboy Ralepelle (41), Dean Greyling (21). Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi (1), Frik Kirsten (8), Juandré Kruger (6), Arno Botha (3), Jano Vermaak (78), Louis Fouché (4), Johann Sadie (11).