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

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