Planet Rugby

Flip back for Bulls

31st March 2014 12:47


Flip van der Merwe Bulls bloody eye

Returning to action: Flip van der Merwe

Bulls skipper Flip van der Merwe handed his side a major boost with the news the second-row is fit to tour with the squad.

The Springbok powerhouse had sat out several games with a hamstring problem, missing the Bulls's sweet triumph over the Sharks and Saturday's late capitulation that allowed the Chiefs to salvage a 34-34 draw at Loftus Versfeld.

But van der Merwe will join the squad on their tour of New Zealand, and looks set to regain his place in the starting lineup to take on the Hurricanes in Napier this Saturday.

In his absence, veteran second-row partner Victor Matfield had taken over the captaincy, the World Cup-winner excelling on his return to Super Rugby. And the Bulls displayed depth in the engine room that will come as great comfort to boss Frans Ludeke - Paul Willemse and Grant Hattingh impressed with van der Merwe sidelined.

But there is bad news for Ludeke too, as fly-half Louis Fouche suffered a knee injury playing in the Vodacom Cup this weekend, and now awaits scans to reveal the extent of the damage.

If the problem is as severe as initially feared, it will cap a wretched start to the season for the pivot, who has toiled through poor form and injury setbacks.

Bulls Touring Squad: Jurgen Visser, Akona Ndungane, Bjorn Basson, William Small-Smith, JJ Engelbrecht, Jan Serfontein, Ulrich Beyers, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Handre Pollard, Francois Hougaard, Rudy Paige, Piet van Zyl, Dewald Potgieter, Jacques du Plessis, Deon Stegmann, Jono Ross, Jacques Engelbrecht, Flip van der Merwe, Victor Matfield, Paul Willemse, Grant Hattingh, Werner Kruger, Dean Greyling, Morne Mellett, Bandise Maku , Bongi Mbonambi, Callie Visagie.

Forthcoming Fixtures
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Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
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London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
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London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
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Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
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Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
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Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
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Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
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Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
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Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
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Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
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Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
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Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
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Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
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Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
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Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
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Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
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Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
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Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
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Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
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Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
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Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
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Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
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5Leicester Tigers00