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Matfield takes over Bulls reins

23rd April 2014 11:48

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Victor Matfield Bulls v Highlanders SR 2014

Victor Matfield: Replaces Flip van der Merwe as captain

Veteran lock Victor Matfield will captain the Bulls in Saturday's clash against the Western Force in Perth.

Matfield takes over the reins from fellow second-row Flip van der Merwe who is serving a three-match suspension for punching Waratahs prop Paddy Ryan in last weekend's encounter in Sydney.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke made five changes to his starting line-up for this clash with Van der Merwe's suspension, rotation and injury forcing his hand.

Three changes are at the back.

Jurgen Visser has recovered from the foot injury that ruled him out of the Waratahs clash shortly before kick-off and slots in at full-back, where he replaces Ulrich Beyers.

Francois Hougaard moves back to the base of the scrum following the knee-injury sustained by Piet van Zyl, and a fit-again Akona Ndungane returns to his regular spot on the wing.

Ludeke also made two changes to his pack.

Van der Merwe's suspension means Paul Willemse will start in the second row with Matfield.

In the other change, Ludeke gives Bongi Mbonambi a first start at hooker, will regular Callie Visagie rested. Bandise Maku will make a first appearance on the bench.

Ludeke also re-jigged his bench, where Wimpie van der Walt will get a first run in Bulls colours if he takes to the field. Beyers replaces William Small-Smith as utility back.

"We have to get back to winning ways and this is a final opportunity to turn our tour into a positive," Ludeke told the Bulls' official website.

"If we can bag a win here and add the losing bonus points we collected earlier on tour, the reward would justify the hard work we have put in."

Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Grant Hattingh, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Marcel vd Merwe, 18 Jacques Engelbrecht, 19 Wimpie vd Walt, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Handré Pollard, 22 Ulrich Beyers, 23 Morné Mellet.

Date: Saturday, April 26
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 19.40 (09.40 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia), Matt O'Brien (Australia)
Television match official: Peter Marshall (Australia)

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