Bulls bench Botha for Reds encounter


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The Bulls’ stalwart Springbok lock Bakkies Botha has recovered from injury, but will only be on the replacement bench when his team plays the Reds in a Super 14 crunch match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Botha was a late withdrawal from the team to play the Blues last week, a 40-19 victory, after he took a knock to the knee in the 31-7 win over the Lions the previous week.

Despite making a full recovery this week, coach Heyneke Meyer has decided to take the conservative route and stuck with Danie Rossouw as Victor Matfield’s second row partner in the starting XV.

The starting XV to face the Reds shows a couple of injury-enforced changes.

Heinie Adams will start the game in the place of the inform scrum-half Fourie du Preez, who will replace him on the bench should he pass a fitness test. Should Du Preez, who injured his shoulder against the Blues last week, not pass the fitness test his place on the bench will go to Nicolaas Eyre.

Wayne Julies will replace the injured JP Nel at centre. Wynand Olivier will move to outside centre and Julies will play at inside centre.

Bulls: 15 Johan Roets, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Wayne Julies, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Derick Hougaard, 9 Heinie Adams, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Wikus van Heerden, 6 Pedrie Wannenburg, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Rayno Gerber, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Engels, 17 Danie Thiart, 18 Bakkies Botha, 19 Derick Ku’n, 20 Fourie du Preez, 21 Morn’ Steyn, 22 Jaco van der Westhuyzen

Date: Saturday, 5 May
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand)
Touch judges: Schalk Walsh (New Zealand), Pro Legoete (South Africa)
Television match official: Sean Veldsman (South Africa)
Assessor: Tappe Henning, Sandy MacNeill


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