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- 24th Mar 2012
- KO 15:05
- Ground: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Bulls v Reds: Teams
At Loftus Versfeld, Sarurday March 24, kick-off 3.05pm
The Bulls have included Francois Hougaard and Johann Sadie in their line-up for Saturday's clash with the Reds.
Hougaard missed the third round defeat to the Blues due to suspension but he returns to replace the benched Jano Vermaak.
Sadie, who was absent from the previous two matches after suffering from a shoulder injury, replaces Francois Venter at outside centre.
Coach Frans Ludeke has admitted the Reds will be the biggest challenge his side has faced so far this season.
"They are the champions and that will be how high the bar will be set. We will have to deliver a championship performance if we want to beat them," he said.
"The effort against the Blues was below par and we know that. We worked hard to be accurate on the weekend and to create and convert chances."
The Reds have made several changes ahead of Saturday's clash, with a first start for fly-half Dallan Murphy.
The 23-year-old will earn his second Super Rugby cap, making his debut in 2011 against the Chiefs, after successful campaigns as captain of Brothers and various Queensland A squads.
Coach Ewan McKenzie said: "Dallan has been in our system for a long time and we have every confidence in his ability to get the job done. We've played around with our options at fly-half this year but Dallan is a natural number 10 so I'm looking forward to seeing what he can offer."
The 2011 Super Rugby champions have made seven changes following their 22-27 loss to the Sharks last weekend, bringing a revamped side to Pretoria.
McKenzie has transformed the Reds' front-row with Hooker Saia Faingaa making his first start of the year, moving Greg Holmes to tight-head and Ben Daley promoted from the bench to loose-head.
Luke Morahan steps in for suspended winger Digby Loane, while forwards Rob Simmons and Jake Schatz regain their spots at lock and number eight respectively.
Ben Tapuai moves to inside centre, with Jono Lance at outside centre, and outside back Nathan Eyres-Brown could earn his Super Rugby debut after being put on the bench.
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Juandré 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 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 JJ Engelbrecht.
Reds: 15 Rod Davies, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Jono Lance, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Dallan Murphy, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 James Slipper, 18 Radike Samo, 19 Van Humphries, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Nathan Eyres-Brown.
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|Friday 13th February|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Reds|
|17:10||Lions vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 14th February|
|06:35||Blues vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Sharks vs Cheetahs|
|17:05||Bulls vs Stormers|
|Sunday 15th February|
|06:05||Waratahs vs Western Force|
|Friday 20th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Brumbies|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs|
|17:10||Bulls vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 21st February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Reds vs Western Force|
|15:05||Stormers vs Blues|
|17:10||Sharks vs Lions|
|Friday 27th February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Reds|
|11:00||Western Force vs Hurricanes|
|17:10||Cheetahs vs Blues|
|Saturday 28th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies|
|15:05||Bulls vs Sharks|
|17:10||Lions vs Stormers|
|Friday 6th March|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Highlanders|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Western Force|
|Saturday 7th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Lions|
|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com