Bulls lose Pollard for match against Lions

The Bulls have named their team to play the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday with Jacques-Louis Potgieter starting for Handre Pollard who was ruled out due to injury.

The Pretoria Super Rugby franchise have made two changes to the starting pack that beat the Crusaders and one change in the backs.

Victor Matfield and Morne Mellett have been rested for this week so Grant Hattingh and Dean Greyling respectively come into the starting team.

Hattingh’s spot on the bench will be taken by Roelof Smit and Greyling swops places with Mellett, who will play of the bench.

Jan Serfontein, like Matfield has been rested in accordance with a SARU agreement.

In the backs Jacques-Louis Potgieter replaces Pollard, who did not recover in time from a knee contusion. Potgieter himself is returning to action after a hamstring strain kept him out for three weeks.

Callie Visagie makes his return to the squad following a back injury.

Bulls head coach Ludeke is keen for the team to continue with the rugby that earned them four wins on the trot, but realises the challenge that will come from the home side.

“The Lions just came back from their best tour ever, so will be keen to keep that momentum and will be boosted by their home crowd. We are also keen to keep progressing as a team and as it is our traditional derby, we are expecting a cracker of a game, ” Ludeke said.

Bulls captain Pierre Spies was adamant that the Bulls will have to play ever better this week.

“We learned it the hard way during the opening two weeks. You cannot be off the pace during the 80 minutes, as other teams punish you. We played great rugby last weekend, but that will mean nothing to the Lions, who will come out all guns blazing on their home turf. We lost there last year, so have a lot to prove this time around. ”

Bulls scrumhalf Piet van Zyl will earn a 50th Super Rugby cap if he takes to the field. The 25 year old played his first 32 matches in the competition for the Cheetahs.

Bulls

Jesse Kriel , Francois Hougaard , JJ Engelbrecht , Burger Odendaal, Bjorn Basson, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Rudy Paige, Pierre Spies (c), Hanro Liebenberg, Deon Stegmann, Grant Hattingh, Jacques du Plessis, Trevor Nyakane, Adriaan Strauss, Dean Greyling .

Replacements: Callie Visagie, Morne Mellett , Marcel van der Merwe, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Roelof Smit, Piet van Zyl, Tian Schoeman, Jurgen Visser.

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