Namibian fullback Divan Rossouw was a late addition to the Vodacom Bulls team ahead of their Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, coming in for Warrick Gelant.
Gelant injured himself at training, with a shoulder niggle, but the management didn’t want to risk him with a long season ahead.
“Warrick had a shoulder injury, he will be available next week again, but we decided to take him out this week as he isn’t 100%,” coach Pote Human said.
Rossouw has played mostly at wing, but is equally adept at fullback and will bring a much more tactical adaptation to the Bulls backline with his inclusion.
The other changes see Burger Odendaal coming back into the side at inside centre to take up his regular spot, while Ruan Steenkamp is back at flank after missing out in the last game with injury.
“I kept the same locks, I thought they did very well against the Sharks two weeks ago and we all know it is going to be very physical this weekend,” Human added.
“We’ve brought Ruan Steenkamp back, he had an awesome season up until his concussion and that is why he is in the mix. Burger is a leader and he deserves his place back on the form before the break because he was awesome before his injury.”
Human said he was concerned about facing the New Zealand side because they had been poor thus far this season and he believed they were a better side than their results suggest.
“They have a great side and if they click it will be difficult. I’m worried if they click on Saturday, somewhere they will find their rhythm and they aren’t a bad side, but we know what is coming and we will be ready for it, but they are a very good side.”
The return to fitness for both regular starters results in Dylan Sage and Tim Agaba moving to the bench and Paul Schoeman dropping out of the squad altogether.
Eli Snyman, who missed the win against the Cell C Sharks two weeks ago, has also regained fitness and will take his place on the bench.
“I am happy with the improvement and growth we have shown so far in the competition. It is still early days, but we managed to tick some boxes in the first month of the competition. The New Zealand challenge will test us in different ways though.”
VODACOM BULLS SQUAD (WITH SUPER CAPS AND POINTS)
Divan Rossouw (14, 15), Cornal Hendricks (30, 55), Jesse Kriel (65, 85), Burger Odendaal (45, 15), Rosko Specman (4, 20), Handre Pollard (50, 511), Ivan van Zyl (21, 0), Duane Vermeulen (113, 45), Jannes Kirsten (20, 10), Ruan Steenkamp (14, 0), Jason Jenkins (44, 35), Hanro Liebenberg (32, 15), Trevor Nyakane (95, 15), Schalk Brits (67,20), Lizo Gqoboka (41, 10).
Replacements: Corniel Els (4, 0), Simphiwe Matanzima (4, 0), Dayan van der Westhuyzen (14, 0), Eli Snyman (3, 0), Tim Agaba (3, 0), Embrose Papier (14, 5), Manie Libbok (9, 13), Dylan Sage (4, 0). Supersport