Stedman Gans out of Currie Cup final, but Johan Grobbelaar back in Bulls front row
CAPE TOWN – Bulls centre Stedman Gans has been ruled out of Saturday’s Currie Cup final against the Sharks in Pretoria, but hooker Johan Grobbelaar has been reinstated in the starting line-up.
Coach Jake White named a familiar-looking match-23 on Thursday, but was not able to include star midfielder Gans, who has been battling with a hamstring niggle.
The Blitzbok playmaker was withdrawn from last week’s semi-final against the Lions at Loftus Versfeld two days before the encounter, which saw Marco Jansen van Vuren hurriedly brought in at outside centre.
The tall utility back performed admirably under the circumstances, especially as he was up against Lions game-breaker Wandisile Simelane.
Grobbelaar has been the first-choice Bulls No 2 for most of the season, but was surprisingly benched for the semi-final, with Schalk Erasmus starting.
But Grobbelaar made an immediate impact when taking to the field, scoring the crucial try from a maul to put the Bulls back into the lead against the Lions.
“We have secured a place in the final, but we still have 80 minutes to play. There are no second chances in playoff rugby ,and our opponents are just as eager to lift this coveted trophy. Our job is to prevent this from happening, and ensuring that the Currie Cup returns to Loftus Versfeld,” White said in a statement on Thursday.
Kickoff at Loftus Versfeld will be at 3pm, and the referee is Jaco Peyper.
15 David Kriel 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren 12 Cornal Hendricks 11 Stravino Jacobs 10 Morné Steyn 9 Ivan van Zyl 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain) 7 Elrigh Louw 6 Marco van Staden 5 Ruan Nortje 4 Sintu Manjezi 3 Trevor Nyakane 2 Johan Grobbelaar 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Bench: 16 Schalk Erasmus 17 Jacques van Rooyen 18 Mornay Smith 19 Jan Uys 20 Arno Botha 21 Embrose Papier 22 Chris Smith 23 Marnus Potgieter.
Additional squad members: 24 Nizaam Carr 25 Gerhard Steenekamp 26 Keagan Johannes 27 Jade Stighling.