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United Rugby Championship: Edinburgh vs Bulls Preview

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United Rugby Championship: Edinburgh vs Bulls Preview

The Bulls round off their European tour with a visit to the Scottish capital to face Edinburgh.

Edinburgh vs Bulls Preview

Morne Steyn has been added to the Bulls bench for this clash after being cleared to join the squad following his Springbok commitments.

Early Newspaper

Chris Smith starts at flyhalf for the Bulls after kicking 19 of their points in the 29-19 victory at Cardiff in Round Three.

Scotland internationals Damien Hoyland, Mark Bennett, Stuart McInally and Magnus Bradley all return to the Edinburgh starting XV.

The Scottish club are hosting South African opposition for the second weekend running, having been held to a 20-20 draw by the DHL Stormers on Saturday.

Edinburgh had won all four of their previous home matches against South African sides prior to the Round 3 clash.

In a testament to their game, Edinburgh had two players among the six tied for top try scorer in the United Rugby Championship heading into Round 4, with Darcy Graham and Ben Vellacott having touched down on three occasions.

Bulls skipper Marcell Coetzee said his team are eager to build on their brilliant second-half performance against Cardiff last weekend, where they went from 3-16 down at the break to win 29-19.

“We just want a successful end for the tour,” said Coetzee.

“This after having come into a whole new tournament and not knowing what to expect. We are still quite a young group, but we are growing by the day.

“Hopefully things are right on track now and we must make sure that we don’t take a step backwards this weekend. Our performance on Saturday will say a lot about how we have grown as a group and how strong our culture is.”

Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair, who played 85 Tests for Scotland, knows what to expect of their opponents on Saturday and said: “The Bulls like to get their hands on the ball and they’re also good on the ground, but they gave a lot of penalties away at the breakdown against Cardiff, so that’s an area that we’d be looking to target as well.”

Team line-ups: Edinburgh vs Bulls

Edinburgh:  Henry Immelman, Darcy Graham, Mark Bennett, James Lang, Damien Hoyland, Jaco van der Walt, Charlie Shiel; Pierre Schoeman, Stuart McInally, Luan de Bruin, Marshall Sykes, Grant Gilchrist (captain), Magnus Bradbury, Luke Crosbie, Viliame Mata.

Replacements:  Dave Cherry, Boan Venter, WP Nel, Pierce Phillips, Mesulame Kunavula, Connor Boyle, Ben Vellacott, James Johnstone.

Vodacom Bulls:  David Kriel, Madosh Tambwe, Cornal Hendricks, Harold Vorster, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Chris Smith, Embrose Papier; Lizo Gqoboka, Bismarck du Plessis, Mornay Smith, Janko Swanepoel, Ruan Nortje, Marcell Coetzee (captain), Arno Botha, Muller Uys.

Replacements:  Schalk Erasmus, Simphiwe Matanzima, Robert Hunt, Walt Steenkamp, Elrigh Louw, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Morne Steyn, Lionel Mapoe.

Match information

Edinburgh vs Bulls

Date: Saturday 16 October

Venue: DAM Health Stadium, Edinburgh (Scotland)

SA time: 18h15

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)

TV: SuperSport Grandstand / Rugby

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United Rugby Championship: Edinburgh vs Bulls Preview