JOHANNESBURG – Hooker Jaco Visagie and outside centre Johnny Kotze will both earn their 50th Super Rugby caps when the Bulls return to Loftus Versfeld for the first time this season to face the Blues on Saturday.
Visagie made his tournament debut for the Bulls back in 2015, while Kotze made his debut in the colours of the Stormers, also in 2015, before moving to Pretoria.
Bulls head coach Pote Human has selected a relatively unchanged team with Wian Vosloo the only new player in the starting lineup, as replacement for Abongile Nonkontwana at looseforward.
Human also made two changes on the bench, where Corniel Els (hooker) and Ruan Steenkamp (looseforward) are set to make their first appearance this season.
The men from Pretoria are yet to register a win in 2020, but they will take confidence from the fact that out of their nine previous home matches against the Blues, they have managed to win six and drawn one.
Bulls captain Burger Odendaal congratulated his teammates on their 50 cap milestones: “I’ve played with Jaco and Johnny for several seasons and they’re quality players who deserve this accolade. It’s not an easy feat to achieve 50 caps in Vodacom Super Rugby but their commitment and determination have been the cornerstone of their playing careers.”
— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) February 19, 2020
Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Wian Vosloo, 6 Jeandré Rudolph, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.
Blues (travelling squad) – Forwards: James Parsons, Kurt Eklund, Marcel Renata, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Sione Mafileo, Patrick Tuipulotu, Jacob Pierce, Aaron Carroll, Tom Robinson, Dalton Papalii, Blake Gibson, Tony Lamborn, Hoskins Sotutu.
Backs: Jonathan Ruru, Sam Nock, Stephen Perofeta, Otere Black, Harry Plummer, TJ Faiane, Joe Marchant, Rieko Ioane, Mark Telea, Jordan Hyland, Emoni Narawa, Matt Duffie.
African News Agency (ANA)