Bismarck du Plessis. (Photo credit: Kreative Mind Productions)
Bismarck du Plessis will
make his Bulls debut when they tackle Leinster in their opening United Rugby Championship match at Aviva Stadium in Dublin on
The 37-year-old hooker
is set to add to the already existing stability of the front row, where he will
partner with props Mornay Smith and Gerhard Steenekamp.
In the second row, Ruan
Nortje and Walt Steenkamp will comprise the lock pairing, while the familiar
loose trio of captain, Marcell Coetzee, Arno Botha and Elrigh Louw will
complete the forwards pack.
Flyhalf Johan Goosen
returns to the starting XV for the halfback pairing with Zak Burger, while the
midfield pair of Harold Vorster and Lionel Mapoe continue where they left off
in South African domestic rugby. Madosh Tambwe, Cornal Hendricks and David
Kriel complete the make up of the starting XV as the outside backs.
“We have had some good momentum
in the South African domestic scene, and we hope we can transfer that form to
the URC,” Bulls director of rugby Jake White said.
“We are in for great
challenge in this quality championship against competitive opposition. To have
the opportunity of facing a top side like Leinster Rugby will be the perfect
opportunity to measure ourselves against one of the best sides in Europe.
“We have opted for
continuity in our selection, with a team that has a good blend of youth and
experience. We are confident that the inclusion of Bismarck du Plessis, whose
experience is invaluable, will add great value both in our play and giving some
direction as a leader.”
Saturday’s match kicks off at 18:15 (SA time).
15 David Kriel, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold
Vorster, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw,
7 Arno Botha, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5, Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt
Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Gerhard Steenkamp
16 Joe van Zyl, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Janko
Swanepoel, 20 Jacques du Plessis, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Chris Smith, 23