Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais named flyhalf Louis Fouché in his starting team to play DHL Western Province in Cape Town on Friday. The inclusion of Fouché, who swops places with Tian Swanepoel (to the bench) is one of three similar tweaks Marais made following last weekend’s defeat to the Golden Lions.
The other tweaks see Burger Odendaal swopping places with Jan Serfontein in the midfield and Deon Stegmann swopping with Arno Botha, who moves to the bench. Stegmann is included as a flank though, with Lappies Labuschagne moving to no8, where Botha started last weekend.
In the other change, Pierre Schoeman was named at loosehead prop, with Dean Greyling dropping out of the match day squad.
“We needed to make some small adjustments as we will approach the WP match different from the one against the Lions last weekend. I have brought in Louis, Burger and Deon for a particular reason, while I think Pierre will front up come scrum time. We need to be competitive in the scrums if we want to get a result against WP, so I made a change,” Marais said.
Labuschagne is happy with the switch to the back of the scrum.
“For us to beat WP, we will have to play well as individuals as well as combinations. I think the loose trio are all capable of slotting into any of the three positions, so we should really complement each other well. Defence will probably have to win this for us, as WP remains the most attacking team in the competition,” Labuschagne said.
“We have some serious players on the bench as well, which will be important. This will take a 23 man effort to go down to Newlands and beat WP.”
The team is: Warrick Gelant, Travis Ismaiel, Dries Swanepoel, Burger Odendaal, Jamba Ulengo, Louis Fouché, Francois Hougaard, Lappies Labuschagne (c), Roelof Smit, Deon Stegmann, Marvin Orie, Jacques du Plessis, Marcel van der Merwe, Bandise Maku, Pierre Schoeman. Replacements: Jaco Visagie, Werner Kruger, RG Snyman, Arno Botha, Ivan van Zyl, Tian Schoeman, Jan Serfontein.