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Flip van der MerweVleis EngelbrechtVictor MatfieldVodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke included fit-again lock and regular captain, Flip van der Merwe, for his side’s Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes in Napier on Saturday.

The 67 cap lock takes over the captaincy and number five jersey from Victor Matfield in one of two changes to the starting pack that played against the Chiefs. In the other, Jacques Engelbrecht comes in at number 8, with Dewald Potgieter moving to the side of the scrum in place of Jacques du Plessis, who moves to the bench.

Matfield and Jono Ross do not feature in the match day 23.

“We are looking to start rotating players from now on and with the depth we have in the squad, it is something I don’t mind doing,” Ludeke said.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Matfield will only play on tour when there is an injury to the other locks and will instead join the coaching staff on this trip. It was all decided on when the lock’s return to rugby was negotiated.

The Bulls departed Johannesburg yesterday afternoon and will only arrive in Wellington late Wednesday night New Zealand time, giving them one training session before heading to Napier.


Vodacom Bulls (with Super caps): 15 Jurgen Visser (17), 14 Akona Ndungane (101), 13 JJ Engelbrecht (39), 12 Jan Serfontein (18), 11 Bjorn Basson (61), 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter (46), 9 Francois Hougaard (62), 8 Jacques Engelbrecht (18), 7 Dewald Potgieter (69), 6 Deon Stegmann (78), 5 Flip van der Merwe (67, Captain), 4 Paul Willemse (10), 3 Werner Kruger (98), 2 Callie Visagie (29), 1 Dean Greyling (44)
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi (7), 17 Marcel van der Merwe (9), 18 Morné Mellett (15), 19 Grant Hattingh (25), 20 Jacques du Plessis (7), 21 Piet van Zyl (37), 22 Handré Pollard (5), 23 Ulrich Beyers (5).

7 Responses to Super Rugby: Bulls – Flip back and captain, Matfield won’t play on tour

  • 1

    If Oom Victor is, for whatever reason, not playing on tour, then surely he can’t be considered a serious Bok contender, despite his good form?

    Or do I have the wrong end of the stick?

  • 2

    @ Scrumdown:
    It seems odd to me too, but perhaps the Bulls simply decided on the number of games that Matfield would play in order to “manage” his comeback. Perhaps this was done in consultation with Meyer, too. At this stage I would say Matfield is a certainty for the Bokke. He and Flip are our only 5 lock options with PSDT injured.

  • 3

    This Bulls side should beat the Canes. Well done to the Bulls for always being competitive in recent years.

  • 4

    2 @ kaksioek:
    Tend to agree re Oom Vic and the Bokke, even more so with Franco vd Merwe also out.

    The whole thing just seems bit odd.

  • 5

    @ Scrumdown:
    Victor is being rested for the Boks, the thing is, the Bulls DO have Flip and Paul, they are pretty good locks, and if any of them were injured Victor would play, the Bulls have had good locks for years now and have had a system of rotation going, this is nothing new really? A few years ago they did the same with Bakkies.

    Bulls will try to absolutely destroy the Cane forwards, and even without Vic, I think Flip and Paul will be a nightmare to compete against at lineout time.

  • 6

    It is absolutely ridiculous to expect even 24 year olds to play consistently every match, it has been the Stormers downfall in recent years, the Cheetahs this year, and I predict the Sharks will face the same problems this year regarding forwards.

    Vic is being rested in this few weeks.

    Jean de Villiers should also not have toured.

  • 7

    @ MacroBull:
    Yes, I think Vic is being managed correctly, HM is obviously in contact with Ludeke to ‘preserve’ Vic until WC 2015.
    I have no doubt that Matfield is part of Heyneke’s strategy for the world cup, and a big part at that…watch this space!


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