Bulls drop Fourie Du Preez for Hougaard


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The Bulls have dropped Fourie du Preez and promoted Francois Hougaard for “most important match of the season” which is against the Reds.

Bulls prop Werner Kruger will play in his 50th Super Rugby match for the Bulls.

Kruger made his debut in 2008 against the Stormers and will line up in the front row with Dean Greyling and Chiliboy Ralepelle, with the latter one of five changes from the side that lost to the Crusaders last weekend.

Flip van der Merwe and Jaco Pretorius picked up injuries in the Timaru clash and will not be considered for the Brisbane match.

Coach Frans Ludeke also made use of his rotational policy in giving starts to Derick Kuun and Gerhard van den Heever, with Francois Hougaard starting at scrum half for the first time this year.

Hougaard replaces Fourie du Preez, Van den Heever moves into the vacant wing berth left by Hougaard and Kuun swop places with Deon Stegmann, who moves to the bench.

He will be joined by Du Preez and Akona Ndungane, who makes a welcome return to Super Rugby.

He last played in 2009 and had to combat serious injury to return to this level.

Stephan Dippenaar replaces Pretorius.

Ludeke said this will be the most important match of the season for the Bulls. “We will have to get points here and get back on track in order to stay in touch with the log leading teams,” Ludeke said.

Bulls (caps in brackets):

Zane Kirchner (46), Gerhard van den Heever (23), Stephan Dippenaar (15), Wynand Olivier (78), Bjorn Basson (16), Morné Steyn (80), Francois Hougaard (20), Pierre Spies (63), Dewald Potgieter (38), Derick Kuun (63), Victor Matfield (116, c), Bakkies Botha (92), Werner Kruger (49), Chiliboy Ralepelle (26), Dean Greyling (6).

Replacements: Gary Botha (78), Rossouw de Klerk (5), Danie Rossouw (107), Deon Stegmann (46), Fourie du Preez (106), Francois Brummer (3), Akona Ndungane (64).

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