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World Cup winners back in Bulls team for battle against Connacht

Jake White has included three of the returning Springboks who were part of the team that won the World Cup in France in the Bulls' 23-man squad for their URC match against Connacht at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Springbok utility back and two-time World Cup winner, Willie le Roux will make his debut for the Bulls, who return to fortress Loftus looking to slay Connacht, who visit the capital in round six of the 2023/24 United Rugby Championship.

Jake White’s herd has seen six rotational shuffles made to the starting XV with two more changes in personnel on the bench for the clash set for Saturday at 17:00.

Le Roux will lace his boots and line up at fullback with the centre-pairing of David Kriel and Stedman Gans infront of him. Once more, ‘Speed Kings’ Sergeal Petersen and Sebastian de Klerk will command the herd on the wings whilst scrumhalf Zak Burger and Jaco van der Walt (flyhalf) will marshal the troops at halfback.

Up ahead, the front row is assembled with Gerhard Steenekamp at loosehead prop alongside Akker van der Merwe at hooker with Wilco Louw at tighthead prop. Behind the power-packing trio will be the lock combination of Reinhardt Ludwig and captain Ruan Nortje in the second row. Versatile flanker, Marco van Staden returns to the fold and will start at flank alongside Elrigh Louw to his right with Nizaam Carr at eight.

White has assembled an impact squad comprising five forwards Simphiwe Matanzima, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Mornay Smith, Janko Swanepoel, Cyle Brink  and three backline players Embrose Papier, Chris Smith and young World Champion, Canan Moodie.

Gates at Loftus will open from 14:00 in the afternoon with plenty of entertainment for the entire family at the Loftus Markert on the D-field.

BULLS vs CONNACHT STARTING XV: 1. Gerhard Steenekamp, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 3. Wilco Louw, 4. Reinhardt Ludwig, 5. Ruan Nortje (c), 6. Marco van Staden, 7. Elrigh Louw, 8. Nizaam Carr, 9. Zak Burger, 10. Jaco van der Walt, 11. Sergeal Petersen, 12. David Kriel, 13. Stedman Gans, 14. Sebastian de Klerk, 15. Willie le Roux

REPLACEMENTS: 16. Simphiwe Matanzima, 17. Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 18. Mornay Smith, 19. Janko Swanepoel, 20. Cyle Brink, 21. Embrose Papier, 22. Chris Smith, 23. Canan Moodie

 

 

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