• Bulls start new recruits

    Trevor Nyakane and Lappies Labuschagne will start for the Bulls in Polokwane on Saturday, with Joe Pietersen at flyhalf for the Cheetahs.

    The prop and flanker will face their former teammates in this pre-season friendly having left Bloemfontein at the end of 2014.

    Nyakane will be part of an international front row, along with Werner Kruger and Bandise Maku.

    Other Springboks JJ Engelbrecht and Deon Stegmann will start at outside centre and openside flank respectively, while Arno Botha and Piet van Zyl will play off the bench. It will be a first appearance for Botha after he ruptured knee ligaments at the same venue a year ago.

    Incumbent Springboks Jan Serfontein and Victor Matfield are being rested, while Adriaan Strauss and Handré Pollard are still recovering from light niggles and will only join the squad next week. Pollard is one of 15 Boks in the Bulls squad for their match against Saracens in London on 31 January, along with Pierre Spies, who missed the entire 2014 season with a bicep injury, and Matfield.

    Meanwhile, former Stormers fullback Joe Pietersen will start at flyhalf for the Cheetahs in Polokwane, with Bok fullback Willie le Roux and flanker Oupa Mohoje on an extended bench.

    With Heinrich Brüssow still in Japan, the team will be captained by Francois Uys.

    Bulls – 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Deon Stegmann (c), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
    Subs (from): Callie Visagie, Morné Mellett, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Grant Hattingh, Roelof Smit, Nardus van der Walt, Arno Botha, Piet van Zyl, Tian Schoeman, Dan Kriel, Ulrich Beyers, Duncan Matthews, Jürgen Visser.

    Cheetahs – 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Sergeal Petersen, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Tienie Burger, 6 Jean Cook, 5 Francois Uys (c), 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Danie Mienie.
    Subs: 16 BG Uys, 17 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Stephan Coetzee, 20 Carl Wegner, 21 Carel Greeff, 22 Armandt Koster, 23 Tian Meyer, 24 Francois Brummer, 25 Ryno Benjamin, 26 Oupa Mohoje, 27 Clayton Blommetjies, 28 Willie le Roux.

    Bulls squad to face Saracens (31 January in London) – Akona Ndungane, Bandise Maku, Bjorn Basson, Callie Visagie, Dean Greyling, Deon Stegmann, Francois Hougaard, Grant Hattingh, Handré Pollard, Jacques du Plessis, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Jan Serfontein, Jesse Kriel, JJ Engelbrecht, Jurgen Visser, Lappies Labuschagne, Hanro Liebenberg, Morné Mallet, Marcel van der Merwe, Marvin Orie, Pierre Spies, Piet van Zyl, Rudolph Snyman, Travis Ismaiel, Trevor Nyakane, Werner Kruger, William Small-Smith, Victor Matfield.

    Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images

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    Simon Borchardt