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Bjorn Basson

Warwick Tecklenburg

Warwick Tecklenburg

Bjorn Basson

Bjorn Basson

Renaldo Bothma

Renaldo Bothma

Lionel Mapoe

Lionel Mapoe

Lionel Mapoe, Renaldo Bothma, Bjorn Basson and Warwick Tecklenburg have added their names to growing list of Super Rugby players heading to The Land of the Rising Sun.

Emirates Lions centre, Mapoe will join Vodacom Bulls lock Grant Hattingh at the Spears while his Lions team mate, flank Warwick Tecklenburg heads to the Kamaishi Seawaves.

Cell C Sharks and Namibia International loose forward, Renaldo Bothma will join Verblitz after the World Cup while Vodacom Bulls and Ex-Springbok wing Bjorn Basson will join Lomano Lemeki and Digby Ioane at the Heat.

Another high profile player who will be heading East is Wallaby fullback Israel Folau who will link up with Springboks Handré Pollard and Eben Etzebeth at the Docomo Red Hurricanes. Folau just put pen to paper on a new flexible contract with the Australian Rugby Union.

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Adriaan Strauss

Adriaan Strauss

Handré Pollard

Handré Pollard

Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke made 7 changes to his starting team to face the Melbourne Rebels in a Super Rugby clash in Melbourne on Saturday. There are 3 changes in the backline that faced the Brumbies last weekend and 4 in the pack.

Jesse Kriel, Travis Ismaiel and Jacques-Louis Potgieter all move into starting positions off the bench, replacing Jurgen Visser, Bjorn Basson and Handré Pollard respectively. Visser and Basson will play off the bench, but Pollard will be rested for this clash.

Instead, Tian Schoeman, who joined the touring party on Tuesday, will be the back-up flyhalf on the bench.

In the pack, injured Deon Stegmann is replaced by Lappies Labuschagne, with Grant Hattingh moving to the bench to make way for Victor Matfield. The veteran lock will play in his 148th match at this level. In a straight swop, Jacques du Plessis starts at No 7 and Arno Botha moves to the bench.

Adriaan Strauss was only not considered due to the resting agreement with SARU, resulting in Callie Visagie running onto the field for his 50th match for the Vodacom Bulls in the No 2 jersey. Jaco Visagie will be on the bench.

According to Ludeke this is do or die for the team.

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Akona Ndungane

Akona Ndungane

Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke recalled Springbok wings Akona Ndungane and Bjorn Basson to his team to face the EP Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday (19:10 kick-off).

They replace Sampie Mastriet and Jamba Ulengo, who started against the Golden Lions last week. They are two of three changes to the backline for the clash in Port Elizabeth.

In another rotational move, Piet van Zyl will start at scrumhalf, with Rudy Paige moving to the bench.

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This is the 8th and last article in the series of Bulls Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for BACK THREE in the Vodacom Bulls 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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Bjorn BassonRecord-breaking wing Bjorn Basson has extended his contract with the Bulls and will be available for the Pretoria franchise until the end of October 2016.

Basson, who holds the national and Currie Cup record for tries in a season and the Bulls’ record for tries in a Super Rugby season, was also part of the Springbok squad in 2013.

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Vodacom Blue BullsBjorn BassonThe return of Absa Currie Cup record try scorer Bjorn Basson will boost the Vodacom Blue Bulls ahead of their Absa Currie Cup match against the MTN Golden Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Basson, who holds the record for most Currie Cup tries in a season, has been released by the Springboks for this match and will start on the left wing, where he replaces Sampie Mastriet.

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