Newcomer Coetzee handed the Bulls captaincy

New signing Marcell Coetzee has been handed the Bulls captaincy in the absence of the injured Duane Vermeulen.

The Springbok loose-forward, who recently joined the Bulls from Ulster, made his first appearance for his new team in last week’s win against the Stormers.

Vermeulen has an ankle injury, which required surgery, and he won’t play again in the competition. Coetzee will also move from the side of the scrum to eighthman.

Joining Coetzee in the loose-trio will be regular lock Ruan Nortje, who replaces the injured Elrigh Louw, while Marco van Staden will wear the No 6 on his back in what is a new-look back-row combination.

Taking Nortje’s place in the second row is Janko Swanepoel.

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The Bulls face the Sharks in Durban on Saturday in their final Rainbow Cup SA game – effectively a semi-final in the competition.

The rest of the starting line-up remains unchanged from lasst week.

Springbok Nizaam Carr and Junior Springbok Muller Uys have received call-ups to take the places of Swanepoel and Van Staden on the bench respectively.

“We have approached this match as if it were a semi-final,” said Bulls boss Jake White.

“Nothing less than a win is good enough. The boys need no further motivation and despite a few injuries, come Saturday we will be focused and determined to execute our plan.”

Kick-off in Durban is scheduled for 6.15pm.

Bulls: David Kriel, Madosh Tambwe, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Cornal Hendricks, Stravino Jacobs, Morné Steyn, Ivan van Zyl, Marcell Coetzee (capt), Ruan Nortje, Marco van Staden, Janko Swanepoel, Walt Steenkamp, Mornay Smith, Johan Grobbelaar, Gerhard Steenekamp. Bench: Schalk Erasmus, Jacques van Rooyen, Trevor Nyakane, Nizaam Carr, Muller Uys, Keagan Johannes, Clinton Swart, Gio Aplon

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