No place for stalwart Bulls flank as Marcell Coetzee gets a first cap


PHOTO: Team talk at Loftus, circulated by BBRU  Willem Strausss

Springbok loose forward Marcell Coetzee will earn his first cap for the Vodacom Bulls when they host the DHL Stormers in their Pro14 Rainbow Cup SA clash at Loftus Versfeld on Friday, 4 June 2021.

Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White has made some changes to the starting line-up that lost to the Lions two weeks ago with scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl returning from injury to partner flyhalf Morné Steyn, while wing Stravino Jacobs reclaims the no.11 jersey in place of James Verity-Amm.

Such is the quality of the Bulls loose trio that Springbok Marco van Staden will start off the bench with the two more experienced internationals, captain Duane Vermeulen and Coetzee, in the run-on side with the young flank relevation Elrich Louw completing the loose trio.

Besides the inclusion of Coetzee at openside flank, Mornay Smith and Gerhard Steenekamp will prop up the scrum alongside hooker Johan Grobbelaar. 

Springbok utility back Gio Aplon has recovered from his ACL injury and will add experience off the bench, with fellow Springboks in prop Trevor Nyakane and flank Van Staden set to do the same.

"We've welcomed back Gio and Ivan from injury while Marcell gets his first start for us. It’s great having experience of this calibre coming back into our system as we head into the business end of the tournament," said White.

"The loss against the Lions put things into perspective as we cannot afford even one slip up in terms of the log. We need to make amends for it and there's not many things tougher than a classic North-South derby," he added. 

Kick-off is scheduled for 19:00 CAT with the match being televised live on SuperSport Grandstand and Rugby channels. 

Bulls –

15. David Kriel (Betway Centurion), 14. Madosh Tambwe (Pretoria), 13. Marco Jansen van Vuren (Pretoria), 12. Cornal Hendricks (Northam), 11. Stravino Jacobs, (Harlequins), 10. Morné Steyn (Tuine), 9. Ivan van Zyl (Tuine), 8. Duane Vermeulen (Harlequins, capt.), 7. Elrigh Louw (Tukkies), 6. Marcell Coetzee (ABE Midas Naka Bulle), 5. Ruan Nortje (ABE Midas Naka Bulle), 4. Walt Steenkamp (Betway Centurion), 3. Mornay Smith (Betway Centurion), 2. Johan Grobbelaar (Tukkies), 1. Gerhard Steenekamp (ABE Midas Naka Bulle). Replacements: 16. Schalk Erasmus (Tuine), 17. Jacques van Rooyen (Tuine), 18. Trevor Nyakane (Harlequins), 19. Janko Swanepoel (Pretoria), 20. Marco van Staden (Pretoria), 21. Zak Burger (Tuine), 22. Chris Smith (Harlequins), 23. Gio Aplon (Betway Centurion),

Replacement reserve list –
24. Jan-Hendrik Wessels (Pretoria), 25. Muller Uys (Tukkies), 26. Jan Uys (Pretoria), 27. James Verity-Amm (Pretoria), 28. Keagan Johannes (Tukkies).

Match officials –

Referee: Jaco Peyper

AR1: AJ Jacobs

AR2: Aimee Barrett-Theron

TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen