Seasoned Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis joined his new team, the Bulls, this week and he’ll jet off with the rest of the squad to Europe on Saturday, set to feature in the new United Rugby Championship.
Du Plessis, who previously played for the Cheetahs and Sharks in South Africa, and Montpellier in France, is the notable inclusion in Jake White’s 37-man squad.
The Bulls will play four matches in Europe – against Leinster, Connacht, Cardiff and Edinburgh.
Also in the squad is another former Bok and Cheetahs man, flyhalf Johan Goosen, who missed last week’s Currie Cup final because of Covid.
There are also recalls for scrumhalf Embrose Papier and Sintu Manjezi, both of whom have been sidelined with injury in recent weeks.
“We have a long and tough URC season ahead, and it will be important how we manage our squad going forward,” said White on Friday.
“Equally, it is important that we continue building on the winning culture we are creating at the Bulls, so it is imperative that we utilise our experienced workhorses and our exciting youngsters.”
Bulls tour fixtures
Leinster Rugby – Saturday, September 25, 6.15pm (SA time)
Connacht Rugby – Friday, October 1, 8.35pm (SA time)
Cardiff Rugby – Saturday, October 9, 8.35pm (SA time)
Edinburgh – Saturday, October 16, 6.15pm (SA time)
Bulls tour squad
FORWARDS: Lizo Gqoboka, Simphiwe Matanzima, Gerhard Steenekamp, Mornay Smith, Jacques van Rooyen, Robert Hunt, Bismarck du Plessis, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Joe van Zyl, Sidney Tobias, Schalk Erasmus, Walt Steenkamp, Sintu Manjezi, Reinhardt Ludwig, Ruan Nortje, Janko Swanepoel, Arno Botha, Marcell Coetzee, Jacques du Plessis, Muller Uys, Elrigh Louw, WJ Steenkamp
BACKS: Zak Burger, Embrose Papier, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Keagan Johannes, Johan Goosen, Chris Smith, Cornal Hendricks, Harold Vorster, Lionel Mapoe, Stedman Gans, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Madosh Tambwe, Stravino Jacobs, Ruan Combrinck, David Kriel