Bulls welcome back Springbok Johan Goosen for Edinburgh clash

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Johan Goosen during a Bulls training session. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)
Johan Goosen during a Bulls training session. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Versatile Springbok Johan Goosen will make his long-awaited return for the Bulls when they tackle Scottish outfit Edinburgh in a URC clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Goosen, 30, has been sidelined with a knee injury since the early parts of last season. He will start at fullback with Chris Smith preferred at flyhalf. Goosen replaces Wandisile Simelane in the No 15 jumper as the latter drops out of the match-day squad.

Stravino Jacobs is another new addition to the Bulls backline at left wing. He replaces Sbu Nkosi, who was called up to the Springbok squad.

Elsewhere in the backline, Zak Burger starts at scrumhalf, replacing Embrose Papier who drops down to the bench.

Up front, Elrigh Louw, who was released from the Springbok squad, starts at No 8 in place of Mihlali Mosi, who sustained an injury in last week's 31-15 win over the Lions at Ellis Park.

The Bulls are expecting a tough challenge from Edinburgh, who claimed an impressive 44-6 win over Welsh side Dragons last weekend.

"It was good to be able to start the new season on a winning note, beating a tough Lions side in their own backyard. We had a few areas we identified that we needed to work on this week and the boys were hard at work getting those better," said Bulls director of rugby Jake White.

"Edinburgh is a tough and talented side. They had an incredible game against Dragons last weekend where they won by a convincing margin. We know how tough they are from our last meeting in the previous season where they beat us. We will need to be at our best if we want to get a good result. We expect another tough encounter against a well-coached outfit." 

Saturday's match kicks off at 14:30.

Bulls team:

15 Johan Goosen, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 David Kriel, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Ruan Vermaak, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp

Substitutes: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Francois Klopper, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Stedman Gans

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