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Johan Goosen back for Bulls after a year out, Elrigh Louw bolsters pack against Edinburgh

Johan Goosen back for Bulls after a year out, Elrigh Louw bolsters pack against Edinburgh

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Cape Town – The ‘Golden Goose’ is back on track… In a second consecutive daring fullback selection, Bulls coach Jake White has picked Johan Goosen in the No 15 jersey for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship clash against Edinburgh at Loftus Versfeld (2.30pm kickoff).

Last week, regular outside centre Wandisile Simelane was thrust into the last line of defence, with mixed results, in the 31-15 victory over the Lions at Ellis Park.

Now he misses out on the match-23 unveiled by the Bulls on Friday.

But it is Goosen who will pique the interest of Bulls and South African rugby fans in general, seeing that he is regarded as one of the contenders to solve the troublesome flyhalf berth in the Springbok team.

JUST IN: Johan Goosen to start at fullback for the Bulls against Edinburgh in their second @URCOfficial clash at Loftus Versfeld @IOLsport @IOL #BULvEDI #URC #Rugby pic.twitter.com/NyzLROxIjW

— Ashfak Mohamed (@ashfakmohamed) September 23, 2022

Bok coach Jacques Nienaber has made it clear that Goosen would have been part of the national team set-up already this year if it wasn’t for his knee injury, which has kept him off the field for about 12 months.

But in a move probably designed to take some of the pressure and responsibility off him in his first game back after such a lengthy absence, the 30-year-old will line up at No 15, with ‘Mr Dependable’ Chris Smith staying at flyhalf.

Goosen is no stranger to the position, having played there often in French club rugby, while the last of his 13 Test caps was actually at No 15 against Wales in Cardiff in 2016 – with seven in total at fullback and six at flyhalf.

Sbu Nkosi’s call-up to the Bok squad this week sees Stravino Jacobs make a welcome return at left wing, while Zak Burger gets the No 9 jersey this time around and Embrose Papier goes to the bench.

Elrigh Louw provides a significant boost at No 8 after being released from the Bok group, and will want to prove to Nienaber that he should be part of the end-of-year tour to Europe.

The rest of the team that beat the Lions are intact, although there is a new prop on the bench in the shape of Simphiwe Matanzima.

Bulls Team: 15 Johan Goosen 14 Cornal Hendricks 13 Lionel Mapoe 12 David Kriel 11 Stravino Jacobs 10 Chris Smith 9 Zak Burger 8 Elrigh Louw 7 Ruan Vermaak 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain) 5 Ruan Nortje 4 Walt Steenkamp 3 Mornay Smith 2 Johan Grobbelaar 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.

Bench: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels 17 Simphiwe Matanzima 18 Francois Klopper 19 Janko Swanepoel 20 Marco van Staden 21 Embrose Papier 22 Morné Steyn 23 Stedman Gans.


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