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  • Super Rugby
  • Overall Group
  • 31st May 2014
  • KO 16:05
  • Ground: Coca-Cola Park (Ellis Park), Johannesburg

Super Rugby preview: Lions take on Bulls at Ellis Park

Last updated: 29th May 2014  

victor matfield bulls brumbies

Victor Matfield: Drops out of the Bulls starting line-up as Frans Ludeke continues to rotate

johan ackermann lions

Johan Ackermann: Makes six changes ahead of the visit of the Bulls

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Bulls will look to work their way into the Super Rugby play-off places when they take on the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The Pretoria-based franchise, currently ninth in the Super Rugby ladder, travel to Johannesburg with just four points between them and the third-placed Crusaders.

Frans Ludeke's side have won their last three outings and can move into play-off contention with victory over the 14th placed Lions on Saturday afternoon.

After a five-match winless run between March and April had left the Bulls' hopes hanging in the balance, but a late surge could them turn the tide and reach the knockout stages.

Meanwhile, a 29-19 reverse at the hands of Western Force in Perth last weekend was a seventh straight loss for the Lions, who sit level on points with Queensland Reds at the foot of the table.

Their poor run has led to Lions coach Johan Ackermann making six changes to his starting XV for the Ellis Park showdown.

In the forwards, Ackermann has made wholesale changes to the front-row with Schalk van der Merwe, Robbie Coetzee and Julian Redelinghuys all brought in.

Rotations

Meanwhile, in the back-line, Chrysander Botha will start at left wing, where he replaces Anthony Volmink while Stokkies Hanekom replaces Deon van Rensburg at outside centre and Courtnall Skosan will fill the right wing berth, having recovered from injury.

Bulls boss Ludeke has makes just three changes, all in the pack, to the side which claimed a 44-23 victory over the Brumbies in Pretoria last time out.

Jacques Engelbrecht is promoted from the bench to start at No 8, with Grant Hattingh moving to lock in place of Victor Matfield who is rested.

In another rotational swap, Marcel van der Merwe will start at tighthead, with Werner Kruger playing off the bench.

Wimpie van der Walt replaces Engelbrecht on the bench, where there is also a return for fly-half Louis Fouche, who replaced the absent Handre Pollard, as he captains the Junior Springboks in New Zealand.

Lions: 15 Van Wyk, 14 Skosan, 13 Hanekom, 12 Hollenbach, 11 Botha, 10 Boshoff, 9 Cronje; 1 S van der Merwe, 2 Coetzee, 3 Redelinghuys, 4 Mathee, 5 Mostert, 6 Kriel, 7 Tecklenburg 8 Whiteley (capt).
Replacements: 16 A van der Merwe, 17 Fourie, 18 Dreyer, 19 Britz, 20 Minnie, 21 De Klerk, 22 Jantjies, 23 Van Rensburg.

Bulls: 15 Visser, 14 Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Serfontein, 11 Basson, 10 Potgieter, 9 Hougaard; 1 Greyling, 2 Visagie, 3 M van der Merwe, 4 F van der Merwe (capt), 5 Hattingh, 6 Ross, 7 Du Plessis, 8 J Engelbrecht.
Replacements: 16 Mbonambi, 17 Kruger, 18 Mellett, 19 Willemse, 20 Van der Walt, 21 Van Zyl, 22 Fouche, 23 Smith.

You can see Lions v Bulls live from 4:05pm on Sky Sports 4HD

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Forthcoming Super Rugby Fixtures
TimeFixture
Super Rugby
Friday 6th March
Super Rugby
06:35Chiefs vs Highlanders
08:40Brumbies vs Western Force
Saturday 7th March
06:35Blues vs Lions
08:40Reds vs Waratahs
15:05Cheetahs vs Bulls
17:10Stormers vs Sharks
Friday 13th March
06:35Hurricanes vs Blues
11:00Western Force vs Melbourne Rebels
Saturday 14th March
03:30Crusaders vs Lions
06:35Highlanders vs Waratahs
08:40Reds vs Brumbies
13:00Stormers vs Chiefs
15:05Cheetahs vs Sharks
Friday 20th March
06:35Highlanders vs Hurricanes
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Lions
Saturday 21st March
06:35Crusaders vs Cheetahs
15:05Bulls vs Western Force
17:10Sharks vs Chiefs
Sunday 22nd March
05:05Waratahs vs Brumbies
Friday 27th March
06:35Hurricanes vs Melbourne Rebels
09:00Reds vs Lions
Saturday 28th March
05:30Chiefs vs Cheetahs
06:35Highlanders vs Stormers
08:40Waratahs vs Blues
15:05Sharks vs Western Force

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