Bulls name strong team for Exeter Chiefs rematch at Loftus

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Kurt-Lee Arendse congratulates Canan Moodie. (Photo by Gordon Arons/Gallo Images)
Kurt-Lee Arendse congratulates Canan Moodie. (Photo by Gordon Arons/Gallo Images)

The Bulls have named a strong line-up for Saturday's European Champions Cup game against Exeter Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld.

Lock Ruan Nortje will lead out a strong pack alongside lock partner Ruan Vermaak. 

Gerard Steenekamp, Johan Grobbelaar and Mornay Smith form a potent front row, while there's an all-Springbok loose trio - Nizaam Carr starts at openside, Marco van Staden at blindside and Elrigh Louw at No 8.

In the backline, Zak Burger and Chris Smith form the halfback combination, with David Kriel and Springbok Canan Moodie featuring on the wings.

Harold Vorster and Wandisile Simelane are the midfielders, with another Bok, Kurt-Lee Arendse, at fullback.

The Bulls have opted for an experienced bench, with the likes of Bismarck Du Plessis, Dylan Smith, Johan Goosen, Lionel Mapoe and Embrose Papier all set to make an impact.

Bulls team:

15 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 David Kriel, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Nizaam Carr, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje (captain), 4 Ruan Vermaak, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp

Substitutes: 16 Dylan Smith, 17 Bismarck Du Plessis, 18 Francois Klopper, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 WJ Steenkamp, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Johan Goosen, 23 Lionel Mapoe

Despite the possibility of booking a spot in the Round of 16, Bulls forwards coach Russell Winter insists the match remains their focus - and not the permutations.

"We have got to front up on Saturday, sticking to our systems, which will help us do well. We have to try hard and stay within what we have been coached and try to break them down in the way that they want to play, that is how we are going to get the result.

"We are playing one of the top clubs in a top premium franchise competition, so the intensity will be higher and we are going to have to match it and improve our intensity if we want to make that we get the win. We have to be up for it physically, mentally and on our game, they might find some cracks; but if we do what we train, then we will be okay.

We know they (Exeter) are a very good side, we know that they are well coached and we know that in the game that we played against them (in Exeter on 17 December) they really put in a big scrum and mauling performance. We know their pack of forwards is a really good set of forwards, they really play and play expansive rugby as well if they want to.

"We have to prepare for all these things and come Saturday, we are going to put our best foot forward and hopefully we have prepared well enough to win the game," Winter concluded.

Exeter beat a second-string Bulls line-up 44-14 at Sandy Park in December.

Saturday's clash kicks off at 19:30.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24