The Bulls have packed their Currie Cup squad with some veteran players who were on duty in the United Rugby Championship last weekend for their game against Griquas at Kimberley on Saturday afternoon.
It’s a clear sign that the Bulls see Griquas as… serious opponents and not wanting to suffer a shocking defeat, something that has happened to several “big teams” in the recent past.
Griquas defeated Western Province 22-20 in their final home game on February 18, while the Bulls lost 25-38 to the Cheetahs on February 2 – their last piece of action in the Currie Cup.
Some of the players who played against Zebre in the URC a week ago and who will be back in action this Saturday include captain Marcell Coetzee, back Kurt-Lee Arendse, Cornal Hendricks, Chris Smith and Embrose Papier, and in the forward Arno Botha, Walt Steenkamp, Bismarck du Plessis and Simphiwe Matanzima.
The five Springbok players on the starting team are Hendricks, Papier, Coetzee, Botha and Du Plessis, with a sixth, Lionel Mapoe, on the bench, and SA Sevens players in the lead up side are Arendse and Stedman Gans.
“Griquas has shown good form so far this season and everyone knows how strong they are when opponents always are on the domestic stage,” said Bulls coach Gert Smal.
“We expect an exceptionally tough game against them, especially on their home ground.
“We will have to be at our best if we want to claim a good result. We have a good mix of experience and exciting youth in our squad, and we hope that our preparations from the past few weeks will come together this weekend.”
bulls: Kurt-Lee Arendse, Canan Moodie, Stedman Gans, Cornal Hendricks, Richard Kriel, Chris Smith, Embrose Papier, Muller Uys, Arno Botha, Marcell Coetzee (capt), Janko Swanepoel, Walt Steenkamp, Robert Hunt, Bismarck du Plessis, Simphiwe Matanzima . Bank: Schalk Erasmus, Lizo Gqoboka, Kowie Roos, Reinhardt Ludwig, WJ Steenkamp, Keagan Johannes, Juan Mostert, Lionel Mapoe