Bulls without Pollard for season finale

Pretoria - The Bulls go into their final match of the 2018 Super Rugby season without the services of Handre Pollard.

The Springbok flyhalf picked up a back injury in last weekend's victory over the Jaguares in Pretoria and has been ruled out of Saturday's clash against the Lions in Johannesburg. 

Manie Libbok while start at flyhalf in his place, while and Ivan van Zyl completes the halfback combination.

Coach John Mitchell also named RG Snyman as captain as a number of injuries hampered selection, ruling out regular captain Burger Odendaal and stand-in, Pollard. Winger Travis Ismaiel is fit again and return to the team though, with Divan Rossouw moving to the bench. 

Mitchell tweaked the pack as well following their win over the Jaguares last weekend, with Jannes Kirsten moving to lock and Thembelani Bholi coming in at flank. Ruben van Heerden drops out of the match day squad. 

The coach also decided to blood three more youngsters to the competition. Johan Grobbelaar (hooker), Ruan Nortje (lock) and Boeta Hamman (flyhalf) are included on the bench and could make a tournament and Bulls debut should they take to the field.  

Mitchell challenged the squad to deliver one more performance to be proud of in this Jukskei derby. 

"I asked the team for an extraordinary performance to close the season out. The other option is to just settle for an easy way to end the season, but that is not who we are as a team," he said. 

Snyman also urged on his team mates to end the season well.

"One can expect the Lions to come out firing as they have everything to play for. This will be a massive contest, a typical South African derby if you like. This gives us a proper opportunity to show what we stand for as a team one more time," he said.

Kick-off is at 15:05.

Teams:

Lions

TBA

Bulls

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Johnny Kotze, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 RG Snyman (captain), 4 Jannes Kirsten, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman

Substitutes: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Matthys Basson, 18 Mornay Smit, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Nick de Jager, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Boeta Hamman, 23 Divan Rossouw