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Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Bulls wait on Hougi, Bjorn



The Vodacom Bulls will have an anxious wait until Wednesday to find out if their two injured Springboks – winger Bjorn Basson and halfback Francois Hougaard – will be fit for selection for their Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Toyota Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Fresh from the bye they had this weekend, the Bulls know all too well the importance of their first home fixture, and would be keen to have a fully fit squad to choose from, making Wednesday’s fitness tests for the two Boks even more important.

Hougaard has been struggling with the ankle for more than a month now, after the Bulls tried to mask it by keeping him on the bench for two weeks on tour before eventually submitting and sending him home.

Basson’s ankle initially kept him off the tour before flaring up again and curtailing his trip for the Bulls as he had to return home early because of the injury.

Lock Flip van der Merwe has been cleared after his chest injury, and is likely to rejoin the starting line-up to continue his partnership with Juandre Kruger, while winger Akona Ndungane has also been given the all-clear after recovering from a fractured cheekbone.

Both Kruger and Paul Willemse, who did duty while Van der Merwe was injured, missed training on Monday because they were ill, but are expected to be considered for selection for the weekend.

Dean Greyling made a positive return to Vodacom Cup rugby on the weekend, and should also be considered for the match.

The long-term injury list still looks long, with Wynand Olivier (2-3 weeks), Grant Hattingh (4-5weeks), Zane Kirchner (5 weeks) and Marcel van der Merwe (end of May) still on the list.

Cornell Hess, who has been playing lock in the Vodacom Cup, will go for an MRI scan on Monday to ascertain the damage to his knee done in the loss to the Leopards on the weekend.

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