Matfield back to lead Bulls

Date published: April 30 2015

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Springbok lock Victor Matfield, will be back to captain the Bulls when they face the Lions in Pretoria on Saturday.

Matfield, who last captained the Bulls in the opening round of the competition, will return to the second row following successful knee surgery that kept him out of action for a month to play in his 145th match, replacing Grant Hattingh who drops to the bench.

Also back in the match XV that shows five changes to the run-on side that took the field against the Stormers last weekend, are Jan Serfontein, Arno Botha, Lappies Labuschagne and Trevor Nyakane.

Serfontein is back following a late withdrawal from the Stormers match, Botha, Labuschagne and Nyakane are all promoted off the bench into the starting team.

The Springbok midfielder replaces Burger Odendaal, who drops to the bench in place of Akona Ndungane, whilst Botha swaps places with Pierre Spies at the back of the scrum. Nyakane starts in place of Dean Greyling.

Labuschagne replaces Deon Stegmann, who is rested after 10 consecutive starts. Prop Andrew Beerwinkel could also make his debut as he is named on the bench.

"We are getting into the rhythm to play the type of match we want to play," Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said when he announced the team in Pretoria on Thursday.

"Our defence structure is good and we are very competitive in every match we play. We need to tweak some aspects of our game though, but I am confident that we are creating a style of play that will make us contenders in the play-off stages of the competition.

"All said, we need to show up against the Emirates Lions, who have shown their endurance and determination week after week."

Bulls: Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Morné Mellett, 18 Andrew Beerwinkel, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20 Pierre Spies, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Jurgen Visser.

Date: Saturday, May 2
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19:10 (17:10 GMT, 03:10 AEST, 05:10 NZST)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Stephan Geldenhuys (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

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