Bulls name Spies on the bench against Saracens

Bulls Super Rugby coach Frans Ludeke has named his team to play Saracens this weekend in London with Pierre Spies on the replacements bench.

Ludeke wants to ease his Springboks back into action so Spies, Handre Pollard and Marcel van der Merwe have all been named on the bench.

Flanker Deon Stegmann has been named as Bulls captain for this Super Rugby warm up match which will be televised in the UK and South Africa.

Another former captain, Victor Matfield, will travel to London as part of the coaching team and not as a player.

Matfield will not be in action over the weekend.

A number of Springboks who travelled to Europe in November will start the match, but flyhalf Handre Pollard will only be used off the bench, as a result of a foot injury from which he continues to recover.

Jan Serfontein and Francois Hougaard will start, as well as Trevor Nyakane, who missed the season-opening friendly against the Cheetahs last weekend due to a back spasm.

“We are keen for a competitive outing that will test our combinations selected for this match,” Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said.

“We will be looking to give a number of substitutions some game-time, but we’ll also be aware that momentum will be important during the match.”

The Bulls kick off their Super Rugby season at home in Pretoria at Loftus Versfeld against the Stormers on February 14 (Valentines Day).

Bulls

15 Jurgens Visser, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Deon Stegmann (captain), 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Trevor Nyakane.

Replacements: 16 Jesse Kriel, 17 William Small-Smith, 18 Handre Pollard, 19 Piet van Zyl, 20 Pierre Spies, 21 Roelof Smit, 22 RG Snyman, 23 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 24 Morne Mellett, 25 Marcel van der Merwe, 26 Jaco Visagie, 27 Duncan Matthews

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