Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke named fit-again flanker Jacques du Plessis in his starting line-up to face DHL Western Province at DHL Newlands on Saturday.
This round two match in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division will see two new faces in the Blue Bulls starting pack that lost their season opener against the Xerox Golden Lions in Johannesburg last weekend.Du Plessis comes in at flank after recovering from a broken jaw sustained in a pre-season match, with Jono Ross moving to no 8 and replacing Jacques Engelbrecht, who moves to the bench with Wiaan Liebenberg dropping out of the match 22.
In the front row, Marcel van der Merwe will start at loosehead in place of injured Dean Greyling, who is suffering from a calf strain. Van der Merwe’s place on the bench will be taken by Hencus van Wyk. Ludeke admitted that his team will face an uphill battle at Newlands, but is adamant they will be seeking victory in Cape Town.
“We identified the first two away matches of the campaign as huge obstacles in our way and last week was indeed that. We’ve buried last week’s performance and now focus on what we can deliver against a very competent Western Province side. We know only too well that this is a massive opportunity for us to show our character and drive for success.”
Vodacom Blue Bulls captain Deon Stegmann was pleased to see Du Plessis back in the fray. “He is a great lineout option for us and has shown himself to be a devastating ball-carrier, so he could not have returned to the side at a more appropriate time. We will have to show who we are in this match and it is good to have Jacques’ size and speed to help us in this regard.”
The Vodacom Blue Bulls team to play WP is:
Jurgen Visser, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Burger Odendaal, Sampie Mastriet, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Piet van Zyl, Jono Ross, Jacques du Plessis, Deon Stegmann, Grant Hattingh, Paul Willemse, Werner Kruger, Callie Visagie, Marcel van der Merwe. Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Hencus Van Wyk, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Jacques Engelbrecht, Rudy Paige, Tony Jantjies, Jesse Kriel.