Bulls include Gelant for tour opener Down Under

Cape Town - Warrick Gelant will start at fullback in the Bulls' Australasian tour opener against the Rebels in Melbourne on Saturday.

Gelant had been battling bronchitis since he was pulled from the squad ahead of last weekend's loss to the Crusaders, but he is expected to have made a full recovery by this weekend. 

Hanro Liebenberg and Paul Schoeman are also back in the starting line-up, while Marco van Staden is benched. 

"Our performance against the Rebels will be a crucial indicator of our prospects for the rest of the season. We need to start the tour well, but more importantly, we need to get some self-respect back after our poor showing in front of the Loftus faithful last weekend. We owe it to them, but also ourselves to show some intent and some desire to win this competition," coach Pote Human said.

Bulls captain Handre Pollard, said the Rebels have shown how good they are on preying on weaknesses in their opponents' armoury.

"To be fair, we showed that we have a couple of areas to improve upon. That said, the one thing about this squad you cannot fault is to take it on the chin and then just work harder. We all want to be there at the end of the race, we want to play in the knock-out phase and then the final. I believe we have the players to do exactly that," Pollard said.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 11:45 (SA time). 

Teams:

Rebels

15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Rob Leota, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner

Substitutes: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Pone Fa’amausili, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Campbell Magnay, 23 Matt To’omua

Bulls

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handre Pollard (captain), 9 Andre Warner, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 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 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw