Smith notches up 50th league caps for the Bulls

Smith notches up 50th league caps for the Bulls

Chris Smith will notch up his 50th Vodacom United Rugby Championship cap when his team runs out for round 18 of the 2023/24 season on Saturday 1 June at the Hollywoodbets Kings Park Stadium, in Durban.

  • Chris Smith on point for 50th cap
  • Vodacom Bulls remain unchanged from round 18
  • Johan Grobbelaar swaps positions with Akker van der Merwe
  • Jake White’s side is chasing a full house of points for Shield and top 2 finish

Jake White has retained the same 23-men Vodacom Bulls side that did duty in round 17 of the competition, with just the positional change in Johan Grobbelaar coming into the starting XV whilst Akker van der Merwe shifts to the six-three split impact squad. Van der Merwe will be alongside Simphiwe Matanzima, Francois Klopper, Reinhardt Ludwig, Nizaam Carr, Keagan Johannes, Chris Smith and Sebastian de Klerk.

Grobbelaar will partner up with Gerhard Steenekamp and Wilco Louw at the front with Ruan Vermaak and his namesake and captain, Ruan Nortje at lock. Behind Ruan partnership will be Marco van Staden and Elrigh Louw at blind and open side flank, respectively.

The tested pairing of Embrose Papier (scrumhalf) and Johan Goosen (flyhalf) will link up at halfback once more. Behind them will be the synchronised backline of Harold Vorster and David Kriel at centre and the back trio of Kurt-Lee Arendse, Canan Moodie and Willie le Roux.

Victory in Durban for the Tshwane outfit will see them lift the SA Shield and the best opportunity to finish in the top two ahead of the knockout stages of the competition, which would see them host both the Quarterfinal and the subsequent semi-finals at Loftus Versfeld. Jake White’s herd will also learn who they will face in the Quarters after the completion of the weekend’s fixtures. Tickets for the weekend of 07/08 June 2024 match are already on sale via Ticketpro

VODACOM BULLS vs HOLLYWOODBETS SHARKS STARTING XV: 1. Gerhard Steenekamp, 2. Johan Grobbelaar, 3. Wilco Louw, 4. Ruan Vermaak, 5. Ruan Nortje (c), 6. Marco van Staden, 7. Elrigh Louw, 8. Cameron Hanekom, 9. Embrose Papier, 10. Johan Goosen, 11. Kurt-Lee Arendse, 12. Harold Vorster, 13. David Kriel, 14. Canan Moodie, 15. Willie Le Roux

VODACOM BULLS IMPACT SQUAD: 16. Akker van der Merwe, 17. Simphiwe Matanzima, 18. Francois Klopper, 19. Reinhardt Ludwig, 20. Nizaam Carr, 21. Keagan Johannes, 22. Chris Smith, 23. Sebastian de Klerk

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