Morne Steyn will captain the Bulls in the Champions Cup. Photo: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images.

Morne Steyn will captain the Bulls in the Champions Cup. Photo: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images.

Surprise as Morne Steyn starts for Bulls in Champions Cup

Morne Steyn has been named in a new-look Bulls side for their historic European Champions Cup match against Lyon in Pretoria on Saturday.

Morne Steyn will captain the Bulls in the Champions Cup. Photo: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images.

Morne Steyn will captain the Bulls in the Champions Cup. Photo: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images.

Morne Steyn has been named in a new-look Bulls side for their historic European Champions Cup match against Lyon in Pretoria on Saturday.

Jake White, the Bulls’ Director of Rugby, named a total new starting team from the one that beat Cardiff in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship last weekend, opting to rest a number of his star players.

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The experienced Steyn will start at flyhalf, with the exciting Bernard van der Linde named at scrumhalf.

Wandisile Simelane will start at fullback with Sibongile Novuka and Stravino Jacobs on the wings, while Stedman Gans and Marco Jansen van Vuren will patrol the midfield.

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Upfront, Muller Uys, WJ Steenkamp and Nizaam Carr will form an exciting loose trio combination, with Jacques du Plessis making a return from injury to start at lock alongside Reinhardt Ludwig. Jacques van Rooyen, Bismarck du Plessis and Dylan Smith are in the front row.

Springbok prop Lizo Gqoboka has been named on the bench and will make his 100th appearance in the light blue jersey should he get game time.

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“When this month started I said that we are going to be very clever about how we manage the players,” said White.

“It’s just turned out that a couple of Springboks came back and needed some time off. Some guys have worked really hard to get a game and I just felt it is a home game and it is a good opportunity for some boys who have pushed really hard to get a start.

“There are three Springboks, five or six guys who won a Currie Cup Final, two guys played in a Super Rugby Final three times, so there is enough experience there.”

Bulls Champions Cup team:

Bulls — 15 Wandisile Simelane, 14 Sibongile Novuka, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Morne Steyn (captain), 9 Bernard van der Linde, 8 Muller Uys, 7 WJ Steenkamp, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Reinhardt Ludwig, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Jacques van Rooyen, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Dylan Smith. 
Subs: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Sebastian Lombard, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Phumzile Maqondwana, 21 Keegan Johannes, 22 Chris Smit, 23 Juan Mostert.

Bulls team for Champions Cup opener.
The Bulls lineup for their Champions Cup opener.