Bulls welcome back captain Coetzee

Marcell Coetzee has recovered from the Covid-19 infection that kept him out of last week’s match against the Lions to take his place in the Bulls’ starting lineup to face Western Province at Newlands on Friday.

The Bulls will head into the clash on Friday night with a new front row as props Gerhard Steenekamp and Mornay Smith are handed starting berths, replacing previous match starters Simphiwe Matanzima and Jacques van Rooyen.

Marcell Coetzee, who was a late omission from the team last week due to illness, returns in the No 6 jersey as captain.

Springbok loosehead prop Lizo Gqoboka slots back into the match-day 23 as bench cover following his release from the national team camp.

The side will also be boosted by Nizaam Carr, another late casualty last week who was withdrawn on match day after picking up a niggle.

Bulls head coach Jake White said ahead of the game: “The North versus South derby never fails to produce exciting, quality rugby. We expect nothing less this week in Cape Town.

“We have had a good few days of training after our fixture on Sunday, where we have had time to work on a few critical areas of improvement as well as enhancing the aspects where we fared well. Western Province is a combative side that are also strong contenders for the title, so we will need to be at the top of our game on Friday night.”

The match will kick off at 7pm on Friday, and will be televised on SuperSport.

The Bulls team is as follows:

15. David Kriel (Betway Centurion)
14. Cornal Hendricks (Northam)
13. Lionel Mapoe (Pretoria)
12. Harold Vorster (Northam)
11. Richard Kriel (Tuine)
10. Johan Goosen (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
9. Zak Burger (Tuine)
8. Elrigh Louw (FNB Tuks)
7. Muller Uys (FNB Tuks)
6. Marcell Coetzee (captain, ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
5. Ruan Nortje (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
4. Walt Steenkamp (Betway Centurion)
3. Mornay Smith (Betway Centurion)
2. Johan Grobbelaar (FNB Tuks)
1. Gerhard Steenekamp (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)

16. Schalk Erasmus (Tuine)
17. Lizo Gqoboka (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
18. Jacques van Rooyen (Tuine)
19. Janko Swanepoel (Pretoria)
20. Nizaam Carr (Betway Centurion)
21. Keagan Johannes (FNB Tuks)
22. Chris Smith (Harlequins)
23. Sibongile Novuka (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)

Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

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Dylan Jack