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Victor Matfield

BullsWilliam Small-SmithVictor MatfieldJono RossJacques du PlessisGrant HattinghThe Vodacom Bulls have made known, through their official Facebook Page, the names of the team to take on the Highlanders on Friday 11 April 2014.

As expected after the injuries to Dewald Potgieter and Deon Stegmann, who both have had to return to South Africa as a result of longer term injuries, Grant Hattingh gets the nod at No 8, with Jono Ross selected at openside flank (No 6) and with Jacques du Plessis at blindside flank (No 7).

Jacques “Vleis” Engelbrecht reverts to 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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Victor MatfieldBullsThe Bulls’ 34-34 draw with defending Super Rugby champions, the Chiefs was akin to defeat, stand-in captain Victor Matfield said after the match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.
The hosts allowed the Chiefs to enforce the draw in the final 10 minutes of the match despite a 16-point advantage.

“Anything else than a victory at home feels like a loss, we’ll take the two points, it is against the champions but we should have had five,” Matfield said.

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Victor MatfieldPieter-Steph du ToitFormer Springbok captain Victor Matfield’s role ahead of this year’s international season has taken on vital importance, especially with the season-ending injury to Cell C Sharks player Pieter-Steph du Toit.

Matfield, who starred in the Vodacom Bulls’ win over the Blues a fortnight ago, will now feature even more prominently in Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer’s plans for the upcoming season, especially with the dearth of five locks around the country at the moment.

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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.

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BullsVictor MatfieldVictor Matfield, one of the most decorated players in the history of South African rugby, will make his return to the playing field for the Vodacom Bulls in Vodacom Super, the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd confirmed on Friday.

Matfield is a former Springbok captain with 110 Test caps behind his name – only John Smit, with 111 caps, has played more Tests for South Africa. He also lead the Vodacom Bulls to all three their Vodacom Super Rugby titles, in 2007, 2009 and 2010.

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Victor MatfieldVictor Matfield, who became a father for the third time on Wednesday, is expected to confirm his return to the playing field later this week.

Matfield’s name was omitted from the Bulls’ team ahead of their warm-up match against the Stormers at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday, when coach Frans Ludeke unveiled two teams for the trip to Polokwane.

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This is the third article in the range 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 LOCKS in the Vodacom Bulls 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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Vodacom BullsVictor MatfieldDerick HougaardThis week Bakkies Botha returned to the Springbok team and very soon his long-time second row partner Victor Matfield may be back on the playing field as well.

Reports suggest that both Matfield (Big Vic) and Bok flyhalf Derick Hougaard (Liefling) are on the comeback trail with the Bulls, hoping the experienced duo can play a role in their 2014 Super Rugby campaign.

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BullsThis article is written by a worried Bulls supporter. The heading could just as well read “Wake up Frans Ludeke” or “Frans fall on your sword please and save us this embarrassment”.

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