• Mixed news for Bulls

    The Vodacom Bulls welcome back Marcel van der Merwe for the match against the Sharks at Loftus on Saturday, but will be without William Small-Smith for six weeks.

    The Springbok prop has missed the first two weeks of the new season after injuring himself against Saracens in the pre-season, and the Bulls scrum has struggled in his absence.

    His return to tighthead should see Trevor Nyakane shift to his favoured loosehead position, with Adriaan Strauss packing down between them. According to SuperSport.com, he is likely to be thrust back into action against a Sharks pack that was dominant in their defeat of the Lions at the weekend.

    However, the Bulls were dealt a blow on Monday, with news that promising centre William Small-Smith will miss the next month and a half with an ankle injury, after originally being ruled out for a few weeks.

    To add insult to injury JJ Engelbrecht's participation in the must-win match against the Sharks has been cast into doubt after the midfielder missed training on Monday with a bicep knock.

    Should he fail to recover in time, Jesse Kriel may be expected to cover at outside centre, a position he filled during the Junior Springboks' run to the World Championship final last year.

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