No space for Serfontein

As predicted, Frans Ludeke has gone with experience when naming his team to take on the Stormers on Friday at Loftus Versfeld.

Mornè Mellett makes his Super Rugby debut at loosehead – but that is because of injuries to Dean Greyling and Marcel van der Merwe, and also in the side are two centurions and a host of players with more than 40 caps.

Lional Mapoe debuts for the Bulls but has played 23 matches for the Lions and 5 for the Cheetahs before. He gets a run at wing, where he will take on Bryan Habana in a spicy encounter, but it does come as somewhat as a surprise that he is not selected at centre ahead of JJ Engelbrecht.

What is not massively surprising, given the conservative nature of most coaches in South Africa, is the non selection of Jan Serfontein at centre, but it will disappoint those keen to see one of South Africa’s bright young stars in action sooner rather than later. It seems the young centre remains behind Francois Venter, who is on the bench, in the queue.

Pierre Spies, who captains the side, is one of 11 players who have 40 caps or more at this level, and he will be looking to make an impact given the time he spent away from the field because of an injured finger last year. His clash with Bok incumbent Duane Vermeulen will garner a few eyeballs!

Three Springboks, Dean Greyling, Akona Ndungane and Jacques Potgieter were not considered due to injury, whilst Emerging Springbok lock Wilhelm Steenkamp is also out of action of another two weeks due to a shoulder injury.

The Stormers won both encounters between the two sides in 2012 and probably start as favourites, but at Loftus, no Bulls side can really be termed an underdog.

Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Mornè Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandrè Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Mornè Mellett
Bench: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouchè, 22 Francois Venter

Stormers: 15. Jaco Taute, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Jean de Villiers (captain), 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker, 4. De Kock Steenkamp, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Bench: 16. Martin Bezuidenhout, 17. Frans Malherbe, 18. Don Armand, 19. Nizaam Carr, 20. Dewaldt Duvenage, 21. Gerhard van den Heever, 22. Joe Pietersen

Kick-off is at 19:10 on Friday


  1. Still have’nt made my mind up on this pick. Gonna be 3 points either way, but Stormers experience might just trump Loftus on this occasion. I will probably only make this pick 15 min before the game.

  2. Ha Ha … Same … Really no idea how Groom and Jantjies are going to gel … Or if they will be allowed to play a more ball in hand kind of game … De Villiers and De Allende have not played together much either … But good looking side on paper

  3. I’m no Bulls fan, but picking Meisiekind over Serfontein is detremental to SA rugby. If this kid played in Oz or NZ he would have gotten the exposure he should now have. Of course, if Meisiekind played in NZ or Oz he would not have made a club sdie.

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