Super Rugby

Chris Smith earns 1st start at flyhalf for Bulls

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Chris Smith. (Photo by Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Chris Smith. (Photo by Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Chris Smith will earn his first start at flyhalf when the Bulls host the Pumas in their final Super Rugby Unlocked match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The inclusion of Smith means incumbent Morne Steyn gets a well-deserved break, with Clinton Swart providing flyhalf cover off the bench.

The rest of the backline remains unchanged. 

Up front, Springbok flank Arno Botha will wear the No 7 jumper with Elrigh Louw dropping out of the match-day squad.  

Corniel Els starts at hooker with Joe van Zyl on the bench in a direct swap with incumbent Johan Grobbelaar still nursing an injury. 

The Bulls are all but assured the Unlocked title - the only way they could concede is if the Pumas beat them by 43 points.

"Due to the Covid pandemic effecting proceedings and the match between the Stormers and Sharks being cancelled, we find ourselves in a more fortunate position than expected. Even though this is not an ideal situation for the tournament and the teams, we all understand that the safety and well-being of all involved comes first," Bulls director of rugby Jake White said via a press statement.

"We as a team want to ensure that if we are to be named champions then we want to do it the right way, with a win against a good Pumas team," White added. 

Kick-off is 14:00 on Saturday.

Teams:

Bulls

15 David Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Jacques van Rooyen 

Substitutes: 16 Joe van Zyl, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Clinton Swart, 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren

Pumas

TBA

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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