Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais named five Springboks and another on the bench in the team to play the EP Kings in a friendly match in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
Francois Hougaard is picked at scrum half, Arno Botha at no8, Deon Stegmann at flank, Flip van der Merwe at lock and Werner Kruger at prop, with Dean Greyling amongst the reserves.
Marais’ stated policy of giving younger players a chance is evident in the number of recent Junior Springboks that makes up the rest of the group. Warrick Gelant, Travis Ismaiel, William Small-Smith and Daniel Kriel are included amongst the backs and Jannes Kirsten and Marvin Orie amongst the starting pack.
Marais made it clear that the team will have little time to get things right.
“We only have one more warm-up match after this, so we need to get things right from the start. We are working on a number of things on the training ground and would love to see that implemented in a match situation, so it will be an important match for us.”
The team is: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Daniel Kriel, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Flip van der Merwe (Captain), 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Morné Mellett. Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Dean Greyling, 18 Nqoba Mxoli, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Clyde Davids, 21 Roelof Smit, 22 Ivan van Zyl, 23 Marais Schmidt, 24 Dries Swanepoel, 25 Jade Stighling, 26 Kefentse Mahlo.