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Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Bulls lose another two players

The Vodacom Bulls were dealt another blow on their already tough tour of the Antipodes when locks Flip van der Merwe and Grant Hattingh were sent home with injury.

Van der Merwe missed the loss against the Reds with a chest injury, but it was hoped that he would recover in time for Saturday’s final Vodacom Super Rugby tour match against the Brumbies in Canberra.

Hattingh, who was one of the few players to have a great game in Brisbane, broke his thumb and will return home to have a scan to determine the extent of the damage.

The Bulls have announced that Emerging Bok Wilhelm Steenkamp will fly out to Australia and he will be joined by loose forward Jean Cook for the team’s last game. Both have been impressive in their matches for the Vodacom Cup team and will add a lot of value to the Bulls team.

However, the loss of two locks severely limits the Bulls' options going into the last game, where it is expected that a number of changes will be made again to the squad, including a return for Bok lock Juandre Kruger.

With no recognised No 4 lock beyond young SA under-20 lock Paul Willemse in the group, it is likely to be a straight choice between him and Steenkamp for the other lock position, with Arno Botha likely to return to the starting line-up for the injured Deon Stegmann.

Stegmann has been ruled out for five to ten days and unless there has been some disinformation coming from the Bulls camp, is not likely to be considered for this weekend’s match, meaning Cook may well come onto the bench as cover.

There should also be a return for Morne Steyn, after Louis Fouche’s indifferent form last week, while it is hoped that after several good performances, the Bulls may finally decide to give IRB Junior Player of the year 2012 Jan Serfontein the start he so richly deserves.


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