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Bulls welcome back Bok as they aim to break URC attendance record

By Ian Cameron
Credit: Vodacom Bulls

The Vodacom Bulls have announced their matchday 23 squad that will face off against the DHL Stormers in Round 14 of URC at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria as they look to break a URC attendance record.

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With a minimal change in the forward pack, the team will see a few forced changes in the back, including the return of  Sbu Nkosi to the field.

The game is expected to draw a full house with over 35,000 tickets already sold. The expected crowd size is set to be the largest in the competition, for a match featuring two sides. The current record attendance was set in 2018 when all four teams in Wales played at the Principality Stadium over one afternoon, with a total of 62,000 fans in attendance.

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Quickfire with Finn Russell

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Quickfire with Finn Russell

In the Pro14, Leinster and Munster have previously attracted more than 46,000 fans to the Aviva Stadium, while the 2018/19 final between Leinster and Glasgow in Celtic Park attracted 47,125. With a capacity of 51,762, a full Loftus Versfeld could break those records.

The Pretoria-based team is still without the services of Springbok duo, Canan Moodie and Kurt-Lee Arendse, who are on a rest break, while midfielder Johan Goosen recovers from a successful shoulder surgery that will keep him out of the game for up to six weeks.

The only change in the forward pack from the matchday squad that played against the Welsh side, Scarlets, is lock Jacques Du Plessis. Meanwhile, the Director of Rugby, Jake White, has made several changes to the back, including Zak Burger and Chris Smith who will combine at half-back. In the midfield, Harold Vorster and Wandisile Simelane will pair up as inside and outside centres respectively.

On the bench, Jan-Hendrick Wessels, Simphiwe Matanzima, Francois Klopper, Ruan Vermaak, Nizaam Carr, Embrose Papier, Morne Steyn, and Lionel Mapoe will be waiting for their chance to take the field.

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Morne Steyn, who has spent the last 14 years plying his trade in Pretoria, will run out for his 150th club game in the Vodacom Super Rugby and United Rugby Championship era. He joins a select few players who have achieved this milestone and has earned an unrivaled icon status across South Africa’s rugby-loving communities.

The Bulls will be looking to continue building momentum towards the playoffs of the championship, and a full house at Loftus Versfeld will certainly give them the confidence to do so.

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