Spies back to lead Bulls

Pierre Spies will lead the Vodacom Bulls out at Eden Park ahead of their match against the Blues on Friday.

Spies came off the bench to good effect during the Bulls' last match against the Lions at Loftus and has been restored to the starting XV at No 8 with Arno Botha reverting to the side of the scrum.

His inclusion is the only change to the pack that held their own against the Lions, while among the backs, a fit-again Rudy Paige comes in at scrumhalf in place of the injured Piet van Zyl.

Coach Frans Ludeke has taken the opportunity to freshen up his bench, where he has made four changes.

Dean Greyling and a fit-again Werner Kruger will replace Andrew Beerwinkel and Morné Mellett as the replacement front-rankers. Among the backs, Jacques-Louis Potgieter has recovered from a hamstring strain and replaces Tian Schoeman, while Travis Ismaiel comes in for Jürgen Visser.

The Bulls come into the match on the back of a bye and will be looking to get their tour off to a winning start against the lowly Blues.

Bulls – 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Flip van de Merwe, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Subs: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Dean Greyling, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Jacques du Plessis, 20 Deon Stegmann, 21 Burger Odendaal, 22 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 23 Travis Ismaiel.

Super Rugby teams (Round 14)

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images