Bulls boosted by the return of Vermeulen for Stormers showdown
The Bulls have been massively boosted by the return to action of veteran Springboks eighth man Duane Vermeulen for their Super Rugby clash against the Stormers at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.
Vermeulen‚ who missed the Bulls last match against the Reds at Loftus before they took a bye last weekend‚ returns to the starting line-up after he was rested as part of an agreement between the franchise and Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus.
He walks straight back into the starting eleven at number eight with Paul Schoeman‚ who started in the win over the Reds‚ dropping to the bench.
The other change on the bench sees Johan Grobbelaar replace Corniel Els as back-up hooker and Human hopes the squad can retain some consistency after the bye.
“The last time we had a bye‚ the result was not a good one so we are pretty mindful of that‚" he said.
"I don't think complacency will be a factor‚ at least the guys did not show anything like that at training.
"It has to do with the fact that we are travelling down to Cape Town‚ a clash with the home side down there is always a massive one for us.”
The fans can look forward to two significant milestones in the match: Boks prop Trevor Nyakane will clock his 100th Super Rugby match while midfielder Burger Odendaal will run out in his 50th game.
“This shows his consistency‚ he plays at a high level week-in and week-out and this is well deserved‚” said Human.
Nyakane will become only the fifth South African prop to become a Super Rugby centurion.
For captain Handré Pollard the trip to the Mother City is important for more than one reason.
“We have been up and down and need to show that we can keep the momentum from last time out‚" Pollard said.
"The Stormers are coming off a defeat at home‚ so will be very keen to bounce back.
"They outplayed us last time we went down there and the guys are keen to rectify that result.
"Most importantly though is to show the effort is worth the hard work we put in. We have been our worst enemies at times this season.”
Bulls 15. Warrick Gelant‚ 14. Johnny Kotze‚ 13. Jesse Kriel‚ 12. Burger Odendaal‚ 11. Jade Stighling‚ 10. Handré Pollard‚ 9. Ivan van Zyl‚ 8. Duane Vermeulen‚ 7. Hanro Liebenberg‚ 6. Marco van Staden‚ 5. RG Snyman‚ 4. Jannes Kirsten‚ 3. Trevor Nyakane‚ 2. Jaco Visagie‚ 1. Lizo Gqoboka
Replacements: 16. Johan Grobbelaar‚ 17. Simphiwe Matanzima‚ 18. Wiehan Herbst‚ 19. Thembelani Bholi‚ 20. Paul Schoeman‚ 21. Embrose Papier‚ 22. Manie Libbok‚ 23. Divan Rossouw