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Werner Kruger

Nollis Marais

Nollis Marais

Former Ricoh Black Rams flyhalf Louis Fouché has been named in the Vodacom Blue Bulls touring squad to Japan for their match against the Canon Eagles on Friday 31 July.

Fouché played for the Japanese outfit last year and has been included in the 27-man squad that will travel to Japan on Friday.

Springboks Francois Hougaard, Arno Botha, Deon Stegmann, Werner Kruger, Dean Greyling and Bandise Maku are all amongst the travelling group.

Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais said the trip will be an important one for the squad.

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Lappies Labuschagne

Lappies Labuschagne

Pierre Spies

Pierre Spies

Regular Vodacom Bulls captain Pierre Spies is back at the helm and at No 8 for the Vodacom Bulls team to face the Blues in Auckland on Friday.

Spies played as a replacement in the team’s last Vodacom Super Rugby clash, against the Emirates Lions at Loftus Versfeld, and will replace Arno Botha at the back of the scrum. Botha will move to the side of the scrum, with Jacques du Plessis moving to the bench.

In the only change in the backline, Rudy Paige comes back at scrumhalf in place of injured Piet van Zyl.

There are 4 changes on the bench. Dean Greyling comes in for Morné Mellett and a fit-again Werner Kruger will replace Andrew Beerwinkel. It will be Kruger’s 1st appearance since the opening Round of the tournament when he injured his ankle against the DHL Stormers in February. Amongst the backs, Jacques-Louis Potgieter is fit again following a hamstring strain and replaces Tian Schoeman and Travis Ismaiel comes in for Jurgen Visser.

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Rudy Paige

Rudy Paige

Burger Odendaal

Burger Odendaal

Apart from welcoming back Rudy Paige and Burger Odendaal, the Vodacom Bulls named Werner Kruger, Jacques-Louis Potgieter and Dean Greyling in their touring squad for the overseas leg of their Vodacom Super Rugby tour to Australasia.

Kruger has recovered from an ankle injury after several weeks on the sidelines, while Potgieter (hamstring) and Greyling (leg) was also declared fit along with Rudy Paige (knee) and Burger Odendaal (ankle).

With Piet van Zyl out for the rest of the season, Andre Warner will tour as 3rd scrumhalf, the Vodacom Blue Bulls and UP-Tuks’ scrumhalf’s 1st participation in the squad. Travis Ismaiel will also tour as the extra outside back.

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BullsThe Vodacom Bulls took quite a beating on the weekend against a DHL Stormers side who boasted far fewer Springboks and seasoned players than the Bulls.

Nick Mallett talks about how bad the Bulls really were.

JJ Engelbrecht, cited for a dangerous tackle received an off-field Yellow Card – a stern warning not to repeat the type of incident.

Frans Ludeke, Vodacom Bulls coach portrayed his usual diplomatic self… or is that his usual dim-witted self as some would have us believe, when questioned on the Bulls lacklustre performance on the weekend.

The Bulls also released a fitness report today, which reads like a war-veterans hospital checklist, with 3 more injuries, ahead of the Hurricanes clash on Friday evening. The injuries, specially amongst frontrowers are worrying, very worrying seeing as the Bulls scrums have been degenerating at a rate of knots in 2015… well actually for a number of seasons now… and the Bulls Brains Trust, if one could call it that, seems to have no answers to shore up the Bulls scrumming woes.

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Vodacom BullsIn the first week of discussion of Super Rugby squad contenders for 2015 (17 to 21 December), we will discuss 2 positions in 10 seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) – seperating the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.

That means 10 Super Rugby Articles every week from now on.

The basic idea is to discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS in the Vodacom Bulls 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

Suggestions as to what to add to these Articles are welcome, but please hurry as the next Article will follow this one shortly!

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BullsThree extend contracts as Vodacom Bulls get ready for 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby season:

The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd on Thursday confirmed that Werner Kruger, Akona Ndungane and Duncan Matthews have extended their contracts and will be available to play for the Vodacom Bulls in the 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby competition. Former Springbok winger Ndungane extended his contract till the end of the 2015 Super Rugby competition, while prop Kruger, who made his Springbok debut in 2011, signed on till October 2016.

Outside back Duncan Matthews, who represented the South African Under-20 side in 2014, will stay with the Pretoria franchise till at least October 2016.

BBC’s High Performance Manager, Xander Janse van Rensburg, confirmed that the majority of the provisional Vodacom Bulls squad for next year have signed up till the end of 2016.
“We had a long term plan with some of these younger players which started in 2012 already and it is great to see that they are now blossoming in our structures. Added to some new signings for next season, I think the 2015 Super Rugby season could be an exciting one for our supporters,” Janse van Rensburg said.

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Piet van ZylBullsPiet van Zyl will not be able to take on his former Toyota Cheetahs team mates at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday as the Vodacom Bulls scrumhalf still suffers from a knee injury picked up on the Australasian tour.

The player will miss another week of Vodacom Super Rugby action as he recovers from his MCL injury, Vodacom Bulls team doctor Org Strauss confirmed.

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BullsFrik KirstenMarcel van der MerweMorné MellettWerner KrugerDean GreylingThe Vodacom Bulls have dismissed worries about the quality of their scrum ahead of this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby series.

Eyebrows were raised after Saturday’s pre-season loss to the Stormers, and while the team have pronounced themselves happy with their performance in the 26 / 19 loss, a question mark still hangs over the set piece.

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In the first week of discussion of Super Rugby squad contenders (17 to 23 December), we  will discuss 2 positions in seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) and also seperate the Articles of  the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.

That means 10 Super Rugby Articles every week from now on.

The basic idea is to discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS in the Vodacom Bulls 2013 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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The Cheetahs squad has now been discussed and time to do the same through a range of Articles on the Bulls.

After the Bulls range of Articles, we’ll see ranges of Articles on the remainig 3 Franchises too… but let’s focus on the Bulls for now. I will handle the discussion of players a bit differently from the Articles on Cheetahs contenders, limiting discussion to the 33 players in the Bulls official Super Rugby training group.

In this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS in the Vodacom Bulls 2012 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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England winger Delon Armitage has been suspended for this weekend’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final with France but will be available for the Semi-final if England progress.

Armitage was cited for making a dangerous tackle in England’s 16-12 Pool B match against Scotland at Auckland’s Eden Park last Saturday.

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