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BullsGrant HattinghFrik KirstenVictor MatfieldJacques-Louis PotgieterJacques-Louis Potgieter will earn a first Vodacom Bulls start at flyhalf since 15 May 2010 when the home side host the Lions in their first home match of the Vodacom Super Rugby competition at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The 29-year old pivot is one of four changes made to the starting side that came up short in Bloemfontein last weekend, with Grant Hattingh (as no 8), Victor Matfield (at no 5) and Frik Kirsten (as starting tighthead) the others to earn a start on the weekend.

Media Release

Potgieter replaces Louis Fouché, who drops out of the match 23 altogether, Hattingh moves from lock to the back of the scrum in place of Jacques Engelbrecht and Kirsten swop places with Werner Kruger, with the latter on the bench for this match. Engelbrecht moves to the bench, whilst Matfield takes over from Hattingh at lock. His place on the bench will be taken by Paul Willemse, with Wiaan Liebenberg missing out.

The versatile Potgieter last played for the Vodacom Bulls as a replacement centre in the final of the 2010 showpiece, when the home side beat the DHL Stormers in Soweto for back-to-back Super Rugby titles.

Hattingh, who has played as a flanker for the Bulls and the Lions in Super Rugby before, will start at No 8 for the first time.

Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke believes the change in personnel will invigorate his side, who lacked composure in finishing off chances this far.

“It is still early in the competition, but we have to be honest with ourselves. We cannot afford a repeat of the first two weekends, where we were lethargic and inaccurate in our set plays. The Lions are high on confidence, so we need not only to start well, but play with belief and commitment.”

Ludeke backed his team selections.

“Jacques-Louis has 42 Super Rugby caps under his belt and need to show that for us, while we expect Victor to bring composure and calm to our set piece. I am excited to see Grant at No 8, he is a true footballer and read the play very well.”

Flip van der Merwe, who took over the captaincy from Pierre Spies last week, will again lead the team into battle.

“We are way down on the standards we set for ourselves this season,” Van der Merwe said at the team announcement in Pretoria on Wednesday.

“This will be our first home game of the season and we are pleased about it after two difficult weekends in Durban and Bloemfontein. We are facing a rampant Lions team though who are playing with passion, skill and precision. We need to match them in those areas if we want to record our first win of the tournament.”


Vodacom Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Grant Hattingh, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Flip van der Merwe (Captain), 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Ulrich Beyers.


Date: Saturday 1 March
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Sieg van Staden (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)


  • Victor Matfield will extend his record of the most capped South African in Super Rugby to 127 matches. He is still behind Mornè Steyn (123) as most capped Vodacom Bulls player though, having earned 8 of his caps as a Cats player in his debut year.
  • Francois Hougaard is one try short from 100 Vodacom Super Rugby points.
  • Coach Frans Ludeke (118 matches) will extend his record as the most experienced South African coach in Super Rugby. He is also the most experienced of all 15 coaches in the competition.

24 Responses to Super Rugby: Bulls change 4 – Matfield, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Kirsten, Hattingh

  • 1

    It all depends on the game plan the Bulls will employ. If Ludicrous forces Hougie to kick, it wont solve their problems. As good as Visagie is in other facets of play, his lineout throwing is erratic at best. But, I do say beware of the wounded Bull. But, having said that I still feel the Lions have their biggest chance for beating the Bulls this weekend.

  • 2

    Good to see JLP back. He is way better then the Bulls flyhalf of last week. Just would have started with Van Zyl at scrumhalf this week. Hougie although he played a bit better last week is not great there and would have had him on the wing.

    Wonder if Victor will play the full 80min? Probably not until he is totally game fit I think.

    See Engelbrecht is back on the bench, would have started him again, as I feel the more games he plays the better he becomes. Seemed that way for the Kings last year. Also really don’t think Ross is as good as Kriel. the Lions have a brilliant loose trio.

  • 3

    Getting a bit better… but 3 key positions still a wory, hooker (Callie Visagie), openside flank (Jono Ross) & fullback (Jurgen Visser).

    Lions should win this one.

    Game plan and approach needs to change too, otherwise all changes are fruitless in any case… and handling needs to improve too!

  • 4

    The loose trio looks even more unbalanced with 2 locks. Glad about Potgieter and Victor.

  • 5

    Think this is gong to be a goos game to watch, Lions have the edge I believe

  • 6

    I may just make a trip out to Moftus this weekend, it could be a really good game.

  • 7

    Make my type a good game

  • 8

    I still havent forgiven Grant for that try he threw away vs WP, but i think moving him to 8th man is a very good move, I think he is best suited for loose forward.

    Jacque dup is improving, I do not see why he should be lock, what will his job be at lock? What will his job be as a blindside? Excuse my ignorance, but I just do not get it.

    JLP will hopefully be good enough, do not expect miracles from him, just don’t want him to put us under pressure like Fouche did.

  • 9

    Bulls game plan should be, tackle boshof and put him under pressure. If he does not have room to move the rest of the Lions must start playing and then it should be a good game.

  • 10

    Maybe the Bulls counter for Boshoffs drop goals is to have 4 locks in the team.

  • 11

    Smacks of panic!
    Four locks on the field to counter the hooker who can’t throw in.
    Huge big lumbering pack to bliksem the Lions into submission? Sounds like rugby from the dark ages to me.

    Funny how when J-LP was playing for the Cheetahs and then the Sharks certain posters on this site mocked him, now he is the saviour, the second coming.

    HM must have a big hard on at the size of this pack, now that he can’t drool over Britanys massive thighs and ripped biceps. (pun intended).

  • 12

    @ Loosehead:
    Well JLP is one of the few South African rugby players that have won super rugby already that is playing this year. So I would give him the benefit.

    Btw I looked at the teams that played that day, where is Tim Whitehead these days? Is he still at the Sharks? injured?

  • 13

    MacroBull wrote:

    @ Loosehead:
    Well JLP is one of the few South African rugby players that have won super rugby already that is playing this year. So I would give him the benefit.
    Btw I looked at the teams that played that day, where is Tim Whitehead these days? Is he still at the Sharks? injured?

    J-LP was mocked on this site by certain Bulls supporters, there were also huursoldaat accusations thrown around. I rate him and hope that he has an excellent game.
    Dunno about Whitehead.

  • 14

    Great bowling by Saints boy Kagiso Rabada for the Proteas U19.
    6 for 25 in 8 overs and bowling at 140kmh! Too quick for most U19s.
    SA beat Aus to make it through to the final.

  • 15

    I called up Loftus this afternoon and asked them if there was still space for this weekend.

    The lady on the other end of the line said “plenty. What position do you play??”


  • 16

    Stormersboy wrote:

    I called up Loftus this afternoon and asked them if there was still space for this weekend.
    The lady on the other end of the line said “plenty. What position do you play??”


  • 17

    @ Stormersboy:
    Overjoy Overjoy

    So your in the team for this coming Saturday’s game. Overjoy

  • 18

    Yip. Prop-half. The Brokster is not happy.

  • 19

    Such a stubbornness, see no reason attitude from the Bulls Coaches?
    Potgieter should have been there from day one of the 2014 SR season, Van Zyl should have been there too
    Hougaard must be assigned to the wing, Quota allowed or assigned literally to the dustbin
    Quietly and almost un noticed the Neutral Referees system was re instated, for the SA matches at least, something the Bulls and the Stormers may not looking forward to?

  • 20

    @ MacroBull:
    He is simply a No Risk, solid FH, played for the Cheetahs, the Bulls and the Sharks, meaning he is adaptable too
    Not a rocket science to realise it, The Bulls should have picked him earlier and in order to perform he needs a good scrummy too
    Won’t happened with Hougaard there though :(

  • 21

    @ John Galt:
    lets hope he ate all his food and dont end up like Mfeneko Ngam. We need a replacement for Steyn and Morkel in about 5 years

  • 22

    Hell when i read all these comments of Care for the Bulls i get so upset that Dewalt had a brain fart, We could have been respected more if we won the semi….and maybe. Well at least our dream is still alive.

  • 23

    @ superBul:

    “Give me hope ou Victor, hope ou Victor. Give me hope ou Victor before the Lions come.”

    Your songs from last night has got some potential just don’t ask Steve to sing it

  • 24

    The selection of Grant Hatting as no 8 is an indicator that the Bulls realizes that the career of Pierre Spies is nearing its end. They are looking for a long term replacement.


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