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- 10th Mar 2012
- KO 17:10
- Ground: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Bulls v Blues: Teams
At Loftus Versfeld, Saturday March 10, kick-off 5.10pm
Former Lions scrum-half Jano Vermaak will make his first start for the Bulls in Saturday's Super Rugby clash against the Blues.
Vermaak, who has made 73 Super Rugby appearances during his time at the Cats and the Lions, came off the bench in the 51-19 romp over the Cheetahs.
However he will now replace the suspended Francois Hougaard in the starting XV with the praise of Bulls coach Frans Ludeke ringing in his ears.
"Jano is one of the best scrum-halves in the competition and has a proven record at this level," Ludeke said.
"His experience, temperament and solid skill set make him the ideal replacement for Francois."
With Vermaak handed the No.9 jersey, Ruan Snyman will provide cover from the bench.
Ma'a Nonu and Piri Weepu have both been named in the starting XV for the Blues.
World Cup-winning centre Nonu makes his first appearance after a short stint playing in Japan, while All Blacks team-mate Weepu starts for the first time after two cameos off the bench.
And having lost their opening two games of the season, the Blues have opted to make a number of changes for the clash against the unbeaten Bulls.
Charlie Faumuina, Pauliasi Manu and Luke Braid come into the pack, while Gareth Anscombe and Rene Ranger join Nonu and Weepu in a new-look back division.
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Jaques Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Louis Fouche, 22 JJ Engelbrecht.
Blues: 15 Lachie Munro, 14 Sherwin Stowers, 13 Benson Stanley, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Chris Lowrey, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Luke Braid, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Anthony Boric, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu (capt), 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Filo Paulo, 19 Bradley Mika, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Hadleigh Parkes, 22 David Raikuna.
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Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com