File Photo: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

PRETORIA - The Bulls have bolstered their team to play against the Southern Kings on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld with SA ‘A’ wing Travis Ismaiel who returns from injury while Tian Schoeman returns to the starting line-up in place of the injured Tony Jantjies.

Ismaiel’s return will be a major boost for the Bulls who have been running thin on their resources at wing and the lanky former Junior Springbok will replace Kefentse Mahlo who made his debut in last weekend’s victory against the Sharks in Durban.

Schoeman will start at pivot and along with Ismaiel are the only two changes to coach Nollis Marais’ team that recorded a shock win in Durban.

Injuries continue to ravage the Bulls squad which have now forced Marais to dig deeper into his player resources with young lock Ruben van Heerden and flyhalf Tinus de Beer in line to make their Super Rugby debuts if called off the bench.

With the Kings one place above the sixth placed Bulls in the South African group and both teams coming of inspiring victories away from home, Marais says his team will need to be at their best if they are to beat the Kings.

“I think they have played good rugby throughout the season, they travel well and their coach Deon Davids has done very well with the side. Their coach told me that it is a difficult side to coach, but they are playing very well and if we want to beat them we will have to be on top of our game. 

“They will come to Loftus and want to give us a hiding. We expect that at the moment especially them because they might not be playing Super Rugby next year and they will want to prove a point,” said Marais.

Bulls Team

Warrick Gelant, Travis Ismaiel, Jesse Kriel, Jan Serfontein, Duncan Matthews, Tian Schoeman, Rudy Paige, Nic de Jager, Jannes Kirsten, Ruan Steenkamp, RG Snyman, Jason Jenkins, Conraad van Vuuren, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Lizo Gqoboka. 

Bench: Jaco Visagie, Pierre Schoeman, John-Roy Jenkinson, Ruben van Heerden, Shaun Adendorff, Andre Warner, Tinus de Beer, Burger Odendaal.

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