Bulls fear the worst for Du Preez



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The Bulls’ star scrum-half, Springbok Fourie du Preez, is unlikely to feature in the Super 14 semi-final showdown against the Crusaders in Pretoria on Saturday.

The Bulls team for the encounter was named on Wednesday, but Du Preez was listed as “extremely doubtful” and bracketed with replacement Heinie Adams.

Du Preez aggravated a shoulder injury during the Bulls’ record 92-3 win over the Reds last Saturday. He didn’t start the game, because he was still recovering from the injury which he first suffered against the Blues in Week 13.

However, when Adams was injured during the game Du Preez went on and the aggravated the injured when a Reds player dived on him as he went over for a try.

Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer said on Wednesday the chances of Du Preez taking the field on Saturday remain slim.

“We’ll give him as long as he needs, but we’re very concerned,” Meyer said.

The Bulls coach said Adams will start the game should Du Preez fail a fitness test. Nicholas Eyre will then replace Adams on the bench.

In the only change to the starting XV JP Nel returns from injury in the place of Wayne Julies.

Bulls: 15 Johan Roets, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JP Nel, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Derick Hougaard, 9 Fourie du Preez/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 Heinie Adams/Nicholas Eyre, 21 Morn’ Steyn, 22 Jaco van der Westhuyzen.

Date: Saturday, 12 May
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 17.30 (15.30 GMT)
Referee: Matt Goddard (Australia)
Touch judges: Paul Marks (Australia), Brett Bowden (Australia)
Television match official: Julian Pritchard (Australia)
Assessor: Tappe Henning (South Africa)


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