DUNEDIN – Bulls coach Pote Human has named Handre Pollard at flyhalf for the Super Rugby match against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday.
Bulls captain Pollard, who missed the last two matches on tour due to injury, returns in a much-changed backline from the one that drew against the Blues a week ago.
While Pollard replaced Manie Libbok, other changes see Divan Rossouw come in for Warrick Gelant and Dylan Sage replacing Rosko Specman.
Sage will play at outside centre, while Johnny Kotze moves one out in place of the injured Specman.
Human also recalled Embrose Papier to partner Pollard at halfback, with Ivan van Zyl moving to the bench and Andre Warner missing out.
Among the forwards, Marco van Staden will play at No 8 in place of the injured Paul Schoeman, with Hanro Liebenberg and Ruan Steenkamp on the side of the scrum.
The tight five remains intact, and Johan Grobbelaar comes on to the bench as a loose forward.
Pollard said he is keen to get back on to the field.
Surf and Turf— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) June 5, 2019
Do you call that a snowman Ruan Steenkamp? 🤔
The Vodacom Bulls players are enjoying their last week on tour as they look to end it on a high note against the Highlanders.#BullsFamily #HIGvBUL pic.twitter.com/3SFP0aTwwR
“The short break was great and I am happy to be back,” he said. “This is a great venue to play at, and we are determined to make our visit a productive one.
“We last won here in 2007, so it is about time we change that.”
Human said the tour provided some good results, but can only be seen a successful one if they get the desired outcome against the Highlanders.
“This is going to be very tough for us, but this group thrives on challenges,” said the experienced mentor.
“I think they last lost to a team from outside New Zealand in 2016, so we need to be at our very best if we want to change that statistic.”
15 Divan Rossouw , 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Dylan Sage, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Handre Pollard (captain), 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Bench: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Johan Grobbelaar, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 JT Jackson.
African News Agency (ANA)