Jake White has backed his winning Vodacom Bulls starting XV for the Vodacom United Rugby Championship semi-final against Leinster at the RDS Arena on Friday night.
The fit-again Kurt-Lee Arendse and Bismarck du Plessis have been named among the replacements for the Bulls’ crunch clash in Dublin.
Arendse, whose sensational performances had him named SA’s URC Player of the Month for March, has recovered from a fractured thumb which sidelined the fleet-footed fullback since late April.
Veteran hooker Du Plessis was a late withdrawal for the Bulls’ win over the Pumas in the Currie Cup two weeks ago, and was omitted from the match-day 23 for the dramatic victory over the Sharks in the URC quarter-final in Pretoria on Saturday.
Loosehead prop Simphiwe Matanzima and loose forward WJ Steenkamp complete the changes to the Bulls bench.
The Pretoria outfit are expecting a tough challenge against a Leinster side that has dominated during regular season, and delivered a forceful performance last weekend with a 12-try mauling of Glasgow Warriors in the quarter-final.
“Leinster is a phenomenal side that is very well coached and is full of international players,” said Bulls boss White.
“You look at their bench and they have players who have more caps for the club than the entire Bulls team combined. So, we are definitely up against a quality side, and it will be a great challenge at the RDS Arena.”
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) June 8, 2022
Bulls – 15 Canan Moodie, 14 David Kriel, 13 Cornal Hendricks, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marcell Coetzee (c), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenekamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Subs: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Robert Hunt, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 WJ Steenkamp, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Kurt-Lee Arendse.