Spies back for Bulls
Springbok number eight Pierre Spies will start for the Bulls against the Blues in their Super 14 clash at Eden Park.
Last Updated: 26/03/08 9:39am
Springbok No.8 Pierre Spies will start for the Bulls against the Blues in their Super 14 clash on Saturday at Eden Park.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has made a bold move in slotting Spies straight into his starting XV despite his not having played for nearly nine months.
It was feared that Spies would never play rugby again after blood clots were found on his lungs in August last year, costing him his place in the Springboks' World Cup squad.
The move means that Pedrie Wannenburg shifts to the flank, while Deon Stegman moves to the bench for the clash with the table-topping Kiwis.
More good news for the Bulls sees Byran Habana return to the wing from injury while full-back Zane Kirchner returns from his two-week suspension, replacing Morne Steyn who will sit on the bench.
Spies's return is a sign of just how desperate the Bulls are to revive their ailing title defence after just two wins from four matches.
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JP Nel, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Derick Hougaard, 9 Fourie du Preez (captain), 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Wikus van Heerden (vice-captain), 6 Pedrie Wannenburg, 5 Danie Rossouw, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Ryno Gerber, 2 Derick Kuün, 1 Guthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Deon Stegmann, 20 Heinie Adams, 21 Morne Steyn, 22 Dewald Potgieter.