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Thursday, 16 November 2023 15:02

White rings the changes and opts for 6-2 split again.

By Gavin Rich.

Vodacom Bulls coach Jake White has made significant changes to his starting pack for Friday night's round five Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash with Edinburgh.

White has been quite liberal with his changes directed at player management and keeping players fresh and hungry and so far, it has paid off for him, with the six changes made for last week's game against Cardiff at Cardiff Arms Park working out as the strength of his bench definitely had an impact on the end result.

The backline that started against Cardiff has been retained intact but several of the big men who did well as replacements last week return to the starting pack, including front row forwards Johan Grobbelaar and Gerhard Steenekamp, as well as co-captain Ruan Nortje in the second row and Springbok looseforward Elrigh Louw.

Young Cameron Hanekom also came off the bench last week but this time out he is back in the No 8 jersey which he has excelled in during the early stage of the URC season. Marcell Coetzee sat out completely last week but is back to lead the side from the flank in tandem with Nortje, with in all there being seven changes to the pack that started in the win in Cardiff.

Last week's captain Nizaam Carr is on the bench this week, alongside another starting looseforward from a week ago in Cyle Brink.

White has gone for a six/two split between forwards and backs this week, with former Edinburgh flyhalf Jaco van der Walt returning to his old stomping ground to face his former team as the only outside back reserve.

The only forward to start last week that will line up again in the run-on team is former Stormers tighthead prop Wilco Louw, who was the spearhead of a dominant scrumming performance last weekend.

Team: Devon Williams, Sebastian de Klerk, Stedman Gans, David Kriel, Sergeal Petersen, Johan Goosen, Embrose Papier, Cameron Hanekom, Elrigh Louw, Marcell Coetzee (co-captain), Ruan Nortje (co-captain), Ruan Vermaak, Wilco Louw, Johan Grobbelaar, Gerhard Steenekamp.

Replacements: Simphiwe Matanzima, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Mornay Smith, Reinhardt Ludwig, Nizaam Carr, Cyle Brink, Keagen Johannes, Jaco van der Walt.