Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke for the first time this season named Callie Visagie as starting hooker for his team to face the Chiefs in Rotorua on Friday. Visagie moves from the bench and replaces Adriaan Strauss for this Super Rugby clash, with Jaco Visagie replacing his namesake on the bench. Jaco Visagie earned his first cap against the Reds earlier in the campaign.
Strauss, who has started in all the team’s matches this year, is rested according to the SARU agreement. Ludeke also made two changes in his loose trio, with Jacques Du Plessis and Deon Stegmann starting after playing off the bench against the Blues, and Arno Botha and Lappies Labuschagne this time tasked to provide spark as impact players. Ludeke says: ‘We are up against a very formidable side and will have to play much better than last weekend. We did not execute the way we wanted against the Blues and the Chiefs will pose even more questions to our defence and attack. So we have to start well and finish well. I have a lot of faith in Callie’s abilities and I am confident that he will perform well. He is an experienced campaigner with close to 50 Super matches under the belt.’
The team is: Jesse Kriel, Francois Hougaard, JJ Engelbrecht, Jan Serfontein, Bjorn Basson, Handré Pollard, Rudy Paige, Pierre Spies, Jacques du Plessis, Deon Stegmann, Victor Matfield, Flip van der Merwe, Marcel van der Merwe, Callie Visagie, Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: Jaco Visagie, Dean Greyling, Werner Kruger, Lappies Labuschagne, Arno Botha, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Burger Odendaal, Travis Ismaiel.