Matfield returns to bench

Frans Ludeke has named Victor Matfield among his reserves for Saturday’s clash against the Stormers at Loftus.

Matfield injured his shoulder during the Bulls’ opening Super 14 match against the Reds, but the injury has cleared up and the Bulls’ Medical team have cleared him to take his place on the bench this weekend and Ludeke says Matfield’s role against the Stormers will be that of an impact player.

With Dewald Potgieter sidelined, Pedrie Wannenburg starts in the No 7 jersey and Jacques Burger takes his place amongst the reserves. JP Nel and Jaco Pretorius switch places with Nel getting his first start of the season.

Meanwhile, young winger Gerhard van den Heever comes in for the injured Bryan Habana. The 19-year-old prospect has been training with the senior squad for the past five months and Ludeke is confident the youngster will be able to do a job against the Stormers.

“Gerhard played for us in the warm-up matches and I am confident that he will do well for us,” said Ludeke.

Van den Heever is a product of the Affies and was one of the stalwarts of the Bulls’ U19 team of last year.

Bulls – 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JP Nel, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Gerhard van den Heever, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez (c), 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Pedrie Wannenburg, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Danie Rossouw, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.

Subs – 16 Derick Kuün, 17 Rayno Gerber, 18 Victor Matfield, 19 Jacques Burger, 20 Heini Adams, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Jaco Pretorius.