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Bulls run-on debut for Smit

08th July 2014 11:27

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Roelof Smit Blue Bulls CC 2013

First start: Roelof Smit

Flanker Roelof Smit will make his first start for the Bulls in Friday's clash with the Melbourne Rebels in Pretoria.

Smit debuted for the Bulls from the bench against the Stormers last weekend and now start in the number six jersey in one of seven changes to the starting line-up.

Jurgen Visser is back at full-back, having recovered from an abductor strain that kept him out of the Newlands clash and replaces Ulrich Beyers.

Francois Hougaard will play on the wing, replacing the injured Akona Ndungane, with Piet van Zyl starting at scrum-half. With Grant Hattingh injured, Jacques Engelbrecht will move back to number eight, Jono Ross moves to the blinside flank and Smit slots in on the openside.

Bulls boss Frans Ludeke also changed his front row. Marcel van der Merwe will start at tighthead prop, Bandise Maku gets a rare start at hooker and Mornč Mellett will start at loosehead for the first time this season.

They replace Werner Kruger, Callie Visagie and Dean Greyling, who will all start off the bench. Ludeke also included Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg on the bench and should he get a run, the Junior Springbok lock will make his Bulls debut. Jesse Kriel is also on the bench for the first time at this level.

"We have nothing to lose, so decided to give some youngsters a run," said Ludeke.

"Injury also played a role in team selection. We want to end the season well and although our final log position will not be where we wanted, there is no reason why we cannot close out our campaign with a fine performance."

Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Jono Ross, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Morné Mellett.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Dean Greyling, 19 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 20 Marvin Orie, 21 Jesse Kriel, 22 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 23 William-Small Smith.

Date: Friday, July 11
Venue: Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19:10 local time (18:10 BST, 17:10 GMT)
Referee: Rohan Hoffman (Australia)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry (South Africa), Sieg van Staden (South Africa)
Television match official: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

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