Johan Goosen and Ambrose Papier back in Bulls side to face Lyon

Johan Goosen and Ambrose Papier back in Bulls side to face Lyon

The Bulls have made several changes to their side ahead of Friday's final Pool A match against French outfit Lyon in the Heineken Champions Cup.

The match is scheduled to kick-off at 22h00pm South African time at the Matmut Stadium de Gerland, in Lyon.

Nizaam Carr will lead the side as Simphiwe Matanzima, Bismarck Du Plessis and Francois Klopper form a new front-row combination to that which out-duelled the Chiefs in Pretoria.

Ruan Vermaak will pair up with Janko Swanepoel in the second row, whilst Marco van Staden and Cyle Brink will have Carr for company in the back row.

At the back, scrumhalf Embrose Papier, flyhalf Johan Goosen and inside centre Cornal Hendricks, who will be making his 50th appearance, all come into the starting fifteen, with Zak Burger and Chris Smith set to start off the bench.

The Bulls are on a quest for a third victory in their debut Championship campaign, hoping to emulate their triumphant 42-36 victory on home soil in the opening round of the competition.

Their hosts are still without a win in this campaign and will surely look to correct this in the final pool fixture, making this an appetising clash for rugby fans across the two hemispheres.

The Bulls travel to Lyon sitting sixth in the table, five points adrift of pool-topping Leinster (who are on 15 points) and 7 points ahead of their opponents, who lie in tenth place.

Bulls backline coach Chris Rossouw said that the rotation of the players was done to look after the players and ensure that their welfare remains a top priority.

"Basically, it is part of player welfare and rotation because Ruan (Nortje) has played every minute of rugby of every match he has played, since the beginning of the season. The same with Harold (Vorster), since making his return from injury has played a lot of rugby, so it is important to manage him well too. This is all part of the rotation plan that we have had since the beginning of the year,"

"It's important when in a group, to have your name in the team sheet as a player that can play these games. And when you get the chance, look to execute the job in the first 60 minutes."

Rossouw also touted his side to face a staunch challenge from their opponents. "We believe that our team can do the job for us. We know it will be extremely difficult, Lyon is a top side, I think they are in the top six in the French Top14. Last week, Saracens were stretched when they came here and so we know it will be a difficult outing.

Commenting on the weather conditions and the impact they will have on the game, Rossouw said: It is obviously extreme, last week we played in 35 degrees (in Pretoria) and now in sub-zero conditions (in France). However, this is a challenge that over time we have come to embrace."

Bulls: 15 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 David Kriel, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Nizaam Carr (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Janko Swanepoel, 4 Ruan Vermaak, 3 Francois Klopper, 2 Bismarck Du Plessis, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima.

Replacements: 16 Johann Grobbelaar, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Mornay Smith, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Elrigh Louw, 21 Zak Burger, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Lionel Mapoe.