Lock Ruan Nortjé moves to flank as Marcell Coetzee captains Bulls against Sharks
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CAPE TOWN - Bulls coach Jake White has sprung a surprise by moving regular No 5 lock Ruan Nortjé to blindside flank for Saturday’s Rainbow Cup SA decider against the Sharks in Durban.
Nortjé has been the Pretoria side’s main lineout jumper and organiser this season, but will be operating in a looser role at Kings Park (6.15pm kickoff), due to a knee injury that has ruled out star No 7 Elrigh Louw.
Youngster Janko Swanepoel will now come into the second row.
As expected, White named Marcell Coetzee as the captain on Thursday following Duane Vermeulen’s ankle injury, and the Bok loose forward will also take over the No 8 jersey, which sees Marco van Staden reinstated at openside flank.
The rest of the starting line-up remains the same from the one that beat the Stormers 31-27 last week, which means that Bok prop Trevor Nyakane stays on the bench, while Lizo Gqoboka is not yet fit to play.
Nizaam Carr and Muller Uys are the new forward reserves, while Keagan Johannes and Clinton Swart fill up the backline spots.
The Bulls need just one log point to top the log and advance to the final against Italian club Benetton in Treviso on June 19.
“We have approached this match as if it were a semi-final. Nothing less than a win is good enough. The boys need no further motivation, and despite a few injuries, come Saturday, we will be focused and determined to execute our plan,” White said.
15 David Kriel 14 Madosh Tambwe 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren 12 Cornal Hendricks 11 Stravino Jacobs 10 Morné Steyn 9 Ivan van Zyl 8 Marcell Coetzee (captain) 7 Ruan Nortje 6 Marco van Staden 5 Janko Swanepoel 4 Walt Steenkamp 3 Mornay Smith 2 Johan Grobbelaar 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Bench: 16 Schalk Erasmus 17 Jacques van Rooyen 18 Trevor Nyakane 19 Nizaam Carr 20 Muller Uys 21 Keagan Johannes 22 Clinton Swart 23 Gio Aplon.