Stedman Gans, Madosh Tambwe back for Bulls in trip to Shark Tank
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CAPE TOWN – Madosh Tambwe is back in the Bulls starting line-up, and Stedman Gans is also back from Olympics duty for Friday’s Currie Cup clash against the Sharks in Durban (7pm kickoff).
There is also a new hooker in Schalk Erasmus, with regular No 2 Johan Grobbelaar having been called up to the Springbok squad this week ahead of Saturday’s final Test against the British and Irish Lions.
Bulls coach Jake White has been building up strong depth in the backline in recent months, and that has resulted in Cornal Hendricks moving back to inside centre from right wing, with Tambwe now at No 14, with Lionel Mapoe missing out and Harold Vorster shifting to No 13.
Gans was Hendricks’ centre partner last season, but gets a run at left wing ahead of Richard Kriel, with the only backline survivors from last week’s 34-13 victory over Western Province being fullback David Kriel, flyhalf Johan Goosen and scrumhalf Zak Burger.
There is a refreshed front row as well, with Mornay Smith and Lizo Gqoboka coming in at tighthead and loosehead prop alongside hooker Erasmus.
The Bulls are currently leading the standings with 28 points, three ahead of the Sharks.
“We are fortunate to be able to count on the experience of players like Lizo, who starts this week. We are also excited to have the likes of Madosh and Stedman back to bolster the squad, while relying on both the experience and exuberance of the bench to close off the game for us,” White said on Thursday.
“It’s another tough week against a Sharks team that will want to bounce back from their defeat to the Griquas last weekend.
“It is a top-of-the-table clash, so we can expect a fierce battle with the Sharks, who will certainly be up for the contest in an effort to topple us from the top of the log. There is definitely a lot to play for, and we will have to be at the top of our game in this contest to continue with the momentum we have so far in the competition.”
15 David Kriel 14 Madosh Tambwe 13 Harold Vorster 12 Cornal Hendricks 11 Stedman Gans 10 Johan Goosen 9 Zak Burger 8 Elrigh Louw 7 Muller Uys 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain) 5 Ruan Nortje 4 Walt Steenkamp 3 Mornay Smith 2 Schalk Erasmus 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Bench: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels 17 Simphiwe Matanzima 18 Mhleli Dlamini 19 Janko Swanepoel 20 Arno Botha 21 Keagan Johannes 22 Chris Smith 23 Sibongile Novuka.