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We need JP and Pretorius : Bulls

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Bulls coach, Frans Ludeke, has selected Jaco Pretorius at outside centre for his team’s first round Super 14 match against the Reds at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.


Springbok Pretorius, who is the only player in the starting side who hasn’t played for the Bulls, will partner World Cup centre Wynand Olivier while Olivier’s regular partner during the last few seasons, JP Nel (pictured) , will play off the bench.


Ludeke said at the team announcement at Loftus on Wednesday that the Bulls need both Nel and Pretorius. “We need them both and we back both of them.


JP knows the system and all the players are very aware of the fact that the Super 14 is a long and rigorous competition. It is, therefore, important to have depth in all the positions.”


Nel, who has just returned from Japan where he played for the past few months, is one of the replacements with Pedrie Wannenburg, who will be used as in impact player.


Ludeke decided to go with Dewald Potgieter in combination with Deon Stegmann and Pierre Spies as his starting loose trio.


Potgieter will be used as a fetcher, ball carrier and is a lineout option but, with the new breakdown laws, his speed around the park will come in handy for the Bulls.


After injury ruled out Rayno Gerber, Werner Kruger starts at tighthead prop with Frik Kirsten as his backup. Ludeke said the Bulls had a strong bench with all the players able to come on and make a difference.


“That is a good position to be in,” said Ludeke. He emphasised that it is possible a 5/2 bench will again be selected in the future. “It’s a matter of horses for courses.”


Bulls captain Victor Matfield said the match against the Reds was important as his team wanted to start off well.


“We started slowly in the past two seasons and want to turn that around. The guys are eager for the season to start,” he said in reference to the good pre-season training.


Bulls:


Zane Kirchner; Akona Ndungane, Jaco Pretorius, Wynand Olivier, Bryan Habana; Morn’ Steyn, Fourie du Preez; Pierre Spies, Dewald Potgieter, Deon Stegmann, Victor Matfield (capt.), Bakkies Botha, Werner Kruger, Derick Ku’n, Gurthr’ Steenkamp.


Reserves: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Frik Kirsten, Danie Rossouw, Pedrie Wannenburg, Heini Adams, Burton Francis, JP Nel.


Sapa Super14.com

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