Lizo Gqoboka back for Sharks showdown, but Bulls continue to build depth for Rainbow Cup
CAPE TOWN - BULLS coach Jake White has largely resisted the temptation to reintroduce all of his Springboks for Friday’s final preparation match against the Sharks in Durban.
There are a few Test players in the starting line-up announced by White on Thursday – captain Nizaam Carr, flyhalf Morné Steyn, tighthead prop Marcel van der Merwe and loosehead prop Lizo Gqoboka – for the Kings Park clash (7pm kickoff).
But for the rest, White has opted to rather continue building his depth for the upcoming Rainbow Cup tournament by using some youngsters and fringe squad members.
Richard Kriel continues at fullback instead of his older brother David, while Dawid Kellerman gets a long-awaited start at inside centre, where he will combine with Marnus Potgieter.
The latter has an opportunity to prove to White that he should be wearing the No 13 jersey going forward in the absence of Stedman Gans, who has an ankle injury and has been ruled out for 10 weeks.
Diego Appollis is another new face at left wing, having come on as a substitute in last week’s 34-29 victory over the Stormers, while Steyn replaces Chris Smith at No 10.
Amongst the forwards, Tim Agaba gets another opportunity to push for the blindside flank berth, with youngster Werner Gouws moving to the openside this week, while Ruan Nortjé gets a break, which sees Jan Uys and Janko Swanepoel at lock.
White will hope that Van der Merwe’s conditioning work pays off, as he battled in the scrums last season after an ankle injury, while Gqoboka will look to provide the power in the scrums and get his work-rate going in the tight loose.
15 Richard Kriel 14 Madosh Tambwe 13 Marnus Potgieter 12 Dawid Kellerman 11 Diego Appollis 10 Morné Steyn 9 Zak Burger 8 Nizaam Carr (captain) 7 Tim Agaba 6 Werner Gouws 5 Janko Swanepoel 4 Jan Uys 3 Marcel van der Merwe 2 Schalk Erasmus 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Bench: 16 Janco Uys 17 Jacques van Rooyen 18 Mornay Smith 19 Raynard Roets 20 WJ Steenkamp 21 Keagan Johannes 22 Clinton Swart 23 Jay-Cee Nel 24 Jan-Hendrik Wessels 25 Reinhardt Ludwig 26 Bernard van der Linde 27 Niel Beukes.