Springbok en Vodacom Blue Bulls loose forward, Dewald Potgieter, has been declared fit to play and will don the light blue jersey of the Blue Bulls in their Absa Currie Cup match against Griquas at Loftus Versfeld on Friday night.
Potgieter suffered a heavy blow to the neck in last weekend’s match against Western Province, but have recovered sufficiently to take his place on the side of the Blue Bulls scrum.
Zane Kirchner (knee) en Gary Botha (knee) could not be considered for the important clash and will be replaced by Jaco van der Westhuyzen and Bandise Maku respectively in the only forced changes from the side that started at Newlands.
Van der Westhuyzen’s place on the bench will be filled by Stephan Dippenaar and Maku’s by Henry Bantjes.
It will be a Currie Cup debut for Bantjes should he run on, adding to his Blue Bulls Craven Week, u.19-, u.21- and Vodacom Cup caps.
Fudge Mabeta switch places with Wilhelm Steenkamp at lock, with Mabeta wearing the number five jersey and Steenkamp moving down to the bench.
Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke expressed his delight to be able to call on Potgieter, who was released from Tri-Nations duty.
“Dewald is any coach’s dream and we are pretty pleased to have him back for this very important match. Griquas will ask a lot of questions and it is good to know we will have Dewald around. It is also important for our continuity, as we can field the same loose forward combination for another week.”
Ludeke is pleased to be able to replace two of his Springbok players (Kirchner and Botha) with two with international experience themselves.
“Depth has always been pretty important in this competition and to be able to replace Gary and Zane with Jaco and Bandise, who also played for the Springboks, is very satisfying. The challenge for all of us will be to create the right result against Griquas. There is still a lot of rugby to be played, but we would love to finish off the first round of matches on a winning note. It is also a home game and that makes a win a non-negotiable issue.”
The Vodacom Blue Bulls team to play Griquas at Loftus Versfeld on Friday August 20th 2010 at 19h10 is:
Jaco van der Westhuyzen, Gerhard van den Heever, Jaco Pretorius, Stefan Watermeyer, John Mametsa, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Ruan Snyman, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Dewald Potgieter, Derick Kuün (c), Fudge Mabeta, Juandré Kruger, Werner Kruger, Bandise Maku, Dean Greyling. Replacements: Henry Bantjes, Bees Roux, Jaco Engels, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Dustin Jinka, Stephan Dippenaar.