Cape Town — The Bulls are confident that flyhalf Manie Libbok can fill the void left by Handre Pollard when they face the Brumbies in Canberra.
The Bulls confirmed on Wednesday that regular captain Pollard will be returning to South Africa after picking up a calf strain in training earlier this week.
With Pollard heading home, No 8 Duane Vermeulen will captain the Bulls on Friday.
Head cach Pote Human called JT Jackson in on the bench to replace the promoted Libbok, with the rest of the Bulls match-day squad remaining unchanged from the one which beat the Rebels 32-17 in Melbourne last Friday.
Human said Libbok, who started for the Bulls against the Jaquares earlier in the season, has big shoes to fill, but has the ability and skills to help the team achieve a second win on tour.
“He would not be around if he was not good enough, that is for sure. Handre is probably the leading 10 in the world at the moment, so to take over from him is not easy, but Manie has done well for us when he took to the field this year and I have the utmost confidence in him this weekend. He is an exciting young talent and we are looking forward to watching him grow.”
For Vermeulen, the defensive effort that the squad showed last week, must be repeated.
“We defended very well when under severe pressure and the Brumbies are going to test us the same way. They are so skilled and determined, we cannot let our guard down or we will pay the price,” he said.
Kick-off is at 11:45 SA time.
15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Jahrome Brown, 6 Tom Cusack, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’A, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Connal Mcinerney, 17 James Slipper, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Murray Douglas, 21 Rob Valetini, 22 Ryan Lonergan, 23 Tom Wright
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 JT Jackson, 23 Divan Rossouw