White picks his speedsters against Lions


The Bulls move with a dangerous back line across the Jukskei River for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship showdown against the Lions at Ellis Park.

Devon Williams – nowadays a permanent sight in Pretoria – will be the no. 15 jersey, while Springboks Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie are the two wings.

Stedman Gans and David Kriel are the center combination, with Jaco van der Walt and Embrose Papier the link pair.

Up front, the exciting Cameron Hanekom gets a chance to play again, while Elrigh Louw and Marco van Staden color the rest of the trio picture.

Ruan Nortjé will lead the team on the field and line up with Reinhardt Ludwig. Then tough guys like Akker van der Merwe and Marcell Coetzee are included on the substitutes’ bench.

The Bulls won the two teams’ previous meeting at Loftus Versfeld by just two points (30 – 28) and Jake White knows that the Johannesburgers are dangerous opponents.

“Ivan van Rooyen (Lions coach) deserves praise for the way in which his team is conditioned, while they can defuse counter-attacks because this is also one of their strong points. At the same time, their wings are also very good defenders and we will have to come up with new plans to get through their defensive line,” said the Bulls’ director of rugby.

“They are indeed a very good rugby team.”

According to the World Cup winning coach, there is a lot at stake for both Gauteng teams.

The Bulls want to maintain their scoring momentum, while the Lions have been persuaded to make the jump to the top eight teams.

“We will have to be at our best – it’s almost like Test rugby. The Lions play well together and Ivan is a conditioning specialist who knows how to keep his players fit and fresh. The next few matches are a test run for the knockout matches that follow.”

The match starts at 15:00 on Saturday and the action will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

Bulls: Devon Williams (full back), Kurt-Lee Arendse (right wing), Stedman Gans (outside centre), David Kriel (inside centre), Canan Moodie (left wing), Jaco van der Walt (fly-half), Embrose Papier (scrum-half), Cameron Hanekom (eighth ), Elrigh Louw (flank), Marco van Staden (flank), Ruan Nortjé (captain and lock), Reinhardt Ludwig (lock), Mornay Smith (prop), Johan Grobbelaar (hooker) and Gerhard Steenekamp (prop). Substitutes: Simphiwe Matanzima, Akker van der Merwe, Francois Kloppers, Janko Swanepoel, Marcell Coetzee, Keagan Johannes, Johan Goosen and Mpilo Gumede.