Keo.co.za brings you news from South Africa’s Super Rugby franchises.
Du Preez returns – Fourie du Preez will start at scrumhalf for the Bulls against the Force this weekend.
Du Preez’s return sees Francois Hougaard shifted to the wing, while Gerhard van den Heever is dropped from the match 22. Jaco Pretorius has been named to start, but may sit out due to a neck injury.
In the forwards, fank Deon Stegmann replaces Derick Kuun.
Bulls - 15 Zane Kircher; 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez; 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Subs: 16 Gary Botha, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Danie Rossouw, 20 Derick Kuun, 21 Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 22 Stephan Dippenaar.
Lambie boost for Sharks – Pat Lambie is likely to start at No 10 against the Hurricanes this week.
Lambie has been sidelined for the past three matches with a hand injury, and his absence has certainly been felt. The Sharks were boosted on Monday when he returned to the training field, and everything points to him fronting the Canes at Kings Park.
While Plumtree will rush Lambie back into the line-up, Jean Deysel will be deployed in the Vodacom Cup. Plumtree is wary of bringing Deysel back too soon after the flanker suffered a bad injury last year.
Jean back, Gary sidelined – Jean de Villiers will be back for the Stormers’ clash with the Sharks but flyhalf Gary van Aswegen has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
Van Aswegen was injured in Saturday’s match against the Lions, and initial reports said he would be back in three to four weeks. It’s now been confirmed that he has a medial ligament injury and will be out for as many as four months, meaning his Super Rugby season is over.
The good news is that De Villiers (groin) and Peter Grant (knee) should be fit for the Sharks game next week. Hooker Tiaan Liebenberg may play in the Vodacom Cup this week and depending on how he comes through that game, he may be considered for the Stormers. Liebenberg is coming back from a knee injury picked up in the pre-season.