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Odendaal returns to captain Bulls

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Bulls Super rugby head coach John Mitchell has named returning inside centre Burger Odendaal as captain of the team to play the Brumbies at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Odendaal missed last weekend’s clash against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires, but is ready to lead the side again.

His return will see Handre Pollard starting at ten again, with Manie Libbok back onto the bench in place of JT Jackson.

In the other changes to the team from last weekend, Nic de Jager comes into the starting team at flank, where he takes over from Thembelani Bholi, with the latter moving to the bench and Jaco Visagie will swop with Adriaan Strauss at hooker.

Strauss will again extend his South African appearance record in Super Rugby when he takes to the field for the 156th time.

Vodacom Bulls coach, John Mitchell, also introduced two new faces to the bench. Ruben van Heerden will be backing up at lock and there is a potential Vodacom Bulls and Super Rugby debut for Matthys Basson, who comes in for Frans van Wyk at prop.

“We know that our effort last weekend was not good enough. It was a setback in our efforts and ambitions for the season. We do get another opportunity a week later and we are playing at home, so we have a great chance to redeem ourselves in front of our home support,” Mitchell said.

Odendaal admitted that the Brumbies all-round game could prove a handful.

“They are certainly well-balanced and we need to be sharp in execution and finishing off if we want to secure a win. The guys are keen to embrace this opportunity though, especially at home in front of our supporters.”

Bulls

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Odendaal, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Nic de Jager, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Trevor Nyakane

Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Mox Mxoli, 18 Matthys Basson, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw

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