Bulls and Lions name teams for United Rugby Championship derby clash

Bulls and Lions name teams for United Rugby Championship derby clash

The Bulls and Lions have named their sides to do battle in this weekend's only United Rugby Championship clash.

The Bulls welcome back Johan Grobbelaar, who has been sidelined since mid-December after picking up an injury against Lyon in round 2 of the Champions Cup. The front-rower will start on the bench for Saturday's clash, which kicks off at 3pm.

Another notable returnee is captain Ruan Nortje, who returns to the starting line-up for the first time since his hamstring injury suffered in round six of the competition, after two appearances from the bench in recent weeks.

Nortje will line up at lock alongside Deon Slabbert. Ahead of the lanky pair will be a front row comprising Simphiwe Matanzima at loosehead prop with Mornay Smith at tighthead and Akker van der Merwe at hooker.

Marco van Staden returns to action after his mandatory rest and he starts at openside flank, pairing up with Elrigh Louw at blindside with Celimpilo 'Mpilo' ka Gumede on eighth man duties.

Embrose Papier at scrumhalf and Johan Goosen at flyhalf once more combine at halfback with the centre combination of Harold Vorster and David Kriel behind them. On the wings, the Bulls will see Sergeal Petersen run out at left wing with Sebastian de Klerk on the right-hand side. Willie le Roux completes the starting fifteen at fullback.

Meanwhile, Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen has made four changes to the team that suffered a 38-28 defeat to the Ospreys in the Challenge Cup last weekend.

In the backline, Sanele Nohamba claims the No 10 jersey, transitioning from his scrumhalf role against the Welsh side.

Consequently, Morne van den Berg steps in to assume the No 9 position, while Gianni Lombard is omitted from the matchday squad.

Up front, Hanru Sirgel comes into the back row to wear the No 6 jersey, while the front row sees Jaco Visagie taking the place of PJ Botha.

Van Rooyen has chosen a six-two bench split, with Jordan Hendrikse returning to provide cover.

Bulls: 15 Willie Le Roux, 14 Sebastian de Klerk, 13 David Kriel, 12 Harold Voster, 11 Sergeal Petersen, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Mpilo Gumede, 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje (captain), 4 Deon Slabbert, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima.

Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Reinhardt Ludwig, 20 Cameron Hanekom, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Devon Williams, 23 Marcell Coetzee.

Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Richard Kriel, 13 Henco van Wyk, 12 Marius Louw (captain), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Sanele Nohamba, 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Emmanuel Tshituka, 6 Hanru Sirgel, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 JP Smith.

Replacements: 16 Morne Brandon, 17 Morgan Naudé, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Darrien Landsberg, 20 Izan Esterhuizen, 21 JC Pretorius, 22 Jordan Hendrikse, 23 Erich Cronje.

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