Victor Matfield won’t make his expected return to the field in the Vodacom Bulls’ two warm-up games on Saturday.
While no explanation was given, Matfield's third daughter was born on Wednesday.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke included recent recruits, Piet van Zyl (Cheetahs) and Jacques-Louis Potgieter (Dax, France) in the team that will face the Golden Lions in the early match of the day, but made it clear that not much must be read into his selections for these two warm-up matches.
Their first match will kick off at 3pm, with the second at 5pm.
SuperSport confirmed that the games won't be televised and that the situation would only change if the two unions (Blue Bulls and WP) or the Polokwane City Council decide to carry the costs involved.
Bulls (to play Golden Lions) – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Ulrich Beyers, 11 Jesse Kriel, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Marcel van der Merwe.
Subs: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 20 Wiaan Liebenberg, 22 Rudy Paige, 23 Tian Schoeman, 24 Waylon Murray, 25 Ryan Nell, 26 Jacques-Louis Potgieter.
Bulls (to play Stormers) – 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip vd Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Subs: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Marcel van der Merwe, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Jono Ross, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Handré Pollard, 22 Ulrich Beyers, 23 Travis Ismaiel.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images