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Jacques Engelbrecht

EP KingsFollowing their narrow 15 / 13 Currie Cup loss to the Steval Pumas in Port Elizabeth at the weekend, the EP Kings have a few more injury concerns.

Centre Tim Whitehead suffered concussion in the game against the Pumas and his availability for this weekend’s home game against the Sharks is in doubt.

He was cleared of symptoms, but will follow a gradual return to play protocol until Thursday. If he comes through that, then he will be cleared to face his former team.

Flyhalf George Whitehead picked up a knee injury and saw a specialist on Monday to determine the severity of the injury.

Flank Jacques Engelbrecht has a left hip pointer injury and is likely to be sidelined for the next 2 weeks, while prop Basil Short has recovered from a foot injury, but a spider bite has kept him sidelined this week.

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Vleis Engelbrecht

Vleis Engelbrecht

Loose forward Jacques “Vleis” Engelbrecht has returned to the starting line-up for the Eastern Province Kings’ clash against the Steval Pumas on Friday.

Engelbrecht, who made a name for himself in the Southern Kings’ 2013 Super Rugby season with hard hits and bulldozing runs, replaces flank Stefan Willemse on the side of the scrum.

The 30-year-old has been a welcome return to the EP side (on loan) after he departed for the Bulls at the end of 2013.

Willemse has been included on the bench, but Janse van Rensburg said the flank had a slight niggle, which they believe will clear up for Friday’s game.

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Vleis EngelbrechtLoose forward Jacques “Vleis” Engelbrecht says signing with the Bulls was the biggest mistake of his rugby career.

The 30-year-old was a star for the Kings when they played Super Rugby in 2013 before joining the Bulls later that year.

His career nosedived in Pretoria though, where a lack of game time left him frustrated.

Engelbrecht mainly played Vodacom Cup rugby for the Blue Bulls this year and has been loaned to the EP Kings for this year’s Currie Cup.

Engelbrecht’s contract with the Bulls only expires next year, but he is hoping to impress for the Kings in the Currie Cup in order for them to try sign him for next year’s Super Rugby competition.

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Vodacom Blue BullsThe Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd confirmed the rest of the Vodacom Blue Bulls coaching staff, following the appointment of Nollis Marais as head coach of the Vodacom Blue Bulls for the 2015 ABSA Currie Cup season.

Marais will also take charge of the forwards and he will be assisted by David Manuel as back-line coach.

Manuel, who was backline coach to the UP-Tuks Varsity Cup as well as the Vodacom Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup and Under 21 teams respectively since 2012, was named backline coach to the Varsity Cup Dream Team earlier this year. He was Head Coach of the Blue Bulls / Tuks Rugby Academy since 2007 till 2012.

The 35-year old matriculated at Waterkloof High School and as a player, represented the Blue Bulls and SA Schools, as well as representing the Vodacom Blue Bulls up to Vodacom Cup level. He also played SA Under 19 and Under 21 and represented Griquas and Free State at senior provincial level as well.

Also confirmed are the appointment of coaches to the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under 21 and Under 19 teams, with Hendré Marnitz and Hayden Groepes being appointed in those roles respectively.

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BullsVodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke made three changes to his starting pack of forwards for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Lions at Ellis Park.

Jacques Engelbrecht moves from the bench to start at No 8, with Grant Hattingh moving to lock in place of Victor Matfield who is rested. In another rotational swop, Marcel van der Merwe will start at tight head, with Werner Kruger playing off the bench.

Wimpie van der Walt replaces Engelbrecht on the bench, where there is also a return for Louis Fouché. The flyhalf will replace Handré Pollard, who is captaining the Junior Springboks in New Zealand. William Small-Smith is also back after illness and replaces Ulrich Beyers on the bench.

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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.

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Vodacom Blue BullsThe Vodacom Blue Bulls team to face the MTN Golden Lions in Pretoria on Saturday sees two changes from the one that beat GWK-Griquas at Loftus Versfeld last weekend.

At scrumhalf, Ruan Snyman will earn his first start, swopping places with Rudy Paige (who drops to the bench) and Bongi Mbonambi who will start at hooker in place of the injured Callie Visagie.

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Jacques EngelbrechtThe Blue Bulls have further bolstered their ranks with the signing of Kings loose forward Jacques “Vleis” Engelbrecht who joins them on a three-year deal.

The hard-working Engelbrecht impressed for the Kings in their debut Super Rugby season this year, and he joins teammate Waylon Murray in heading to Loftus Versveld following the Eastern Cape side’s relegation from Super Rugby.

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