CAPE TOWN – He has just left the Cheetahs, but Walt Steenkamp has been thrust straight into the spotlight at his new team as he has been included in the Bulls starting line-up for Saturday’s Super Rugby Unlocked derby against the Lions.
Steenkamp joined the Bulls on November 1 from the Free State Cheetahs, and it hasn’t taken the 25-year-old long to impress director of rugby Jake White.
A giant at 2.03m and 121kg, Steenkamp comes in for Ruan Nortje, who has been in consistent form for the log leaders and leads the competition’s lineout statistics with 18 takes.
Nortje has been given the week off due to a “little niggle”, according to the Bulls management.
For the rest, White has stuck with the side that demolished the Stormers 39-6 at Loftus Versfeld last week.
That means that loosehead prop Jacques van Rooyen and utility back Marco Jansen van Vuren will get the opportunity to face their former team.
“The players have done well in correcting the ship after a slow start against the Griquas and Cheetahs, which is testament to their desire to go the whole nine yards and secure silverware,” White said.
“However, our job is not yet done, and we will have to have our wits about us when we face the Lions, who will be confident after a strong performance last weekend.” Kickoff is at 7pm at Ellis Park on Saturday.
15 David Kriel 14 Travis Ismaiel 13 Stedman Gans 12 Cornal Hendricks 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse 10 Morné Steyn 9 Ivan van Zyl 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain) 7 Elrigh Louw 6 Marco van Staden 5 Walt Steenkamp 4 Jason Jenkins 3 Trevor Nyakane 2 Johan Grobbelaar 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Bench: 16 Joe van Zyl 17 Gerhard Steenekamp 18 Marcel van der Merwe 19 Sintu Manjezi 20 Nizaam Carr 21 Embrose Papier 22 Chris Smith 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren.