Stegmann, Wepener back for Bulls tour
The Vodacom Bulls will welcome back injured stars Deon Stegmann and Willie Wepener to their travelling squad for the four games in Australia and New Zealand.
With the bulk of the squad at the Springbok training camp at the moment, the team will be off from Thursday to Monday, where they will leave for their first destination of Melbourne ahead of next weekend’s match against the Rebels.
Also in the squad are Flip van der Merwe and Dean Greyling, both who missed the win over the Brumbies with injury. The rest of the squad is the 22-man match-day team that defeated the Brumbies 36-34 at Loftus Versfeld last week.
Stegmann, however, will have to pass a late fitness test before travelling, and will need to convince the management that his hamstring injury is okay. If he can’t prove his fitness, the team will leave without him, and as soon as he is declared fit he will rejoin the team wherever they are.
Wepener is suffering from Gamsay Hunt syndrome, a virus that attacked his facial muscles, but his condition has improved to such an extent that he will be able to tour with the team. He last played against the Reds in week four.
Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said the four matches will determine their season.
“We are in a good spot at the moment. We have no serious injury concerns and will travel with some momentum after the last win over the Brumbies. The bye was also a good one and the players were able to refresh mentally. We will need to win on the road though if we want to stay in the hunt for the playoff position.”
Van der Merwe had a groin strain and Greyling a scapula injury, but both were short term and are expected to be fit for consideration for the Rebels game next weekend.
The squad is:
Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, Bjorn Basson, JJ Engelbrecht, Wynand Olivier, Francois Venter, Johann Sadie, Louis Fouché, Morné Steyn, Jano Vermaak, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies (capt), Arno Botha, Deon Stegmann, Jacques Potgieter, CJ Stander, Juandré Kruger, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Dean Greyling, Frik Kirsten, Dawie Steyn, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Bongi Mbonambi, Willie Wepener.
The Bulls fixtures on tour are:
May 4th: Rebels, AAMI Park, Melbourne
May 11th: Waratahs, Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
May 19th: Highlanders, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
May 25th: Chiefs, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton