Bulls bank on Akona
Akona Ndungane (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar is happy to have experienced wing Akona Ndungane back in his side for their Currie Cup clash against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
Ndungane, 32, has returned to full fitness after suffering from hamstring injury and will add huge value to a very young Bulls team who were hammered 62-23 by the Golden Lions at Loftus Versfeld last week.
Ndungane replaces Travis Ismaiel at left wing, with the latter ruled out due to a knee injury.
Pienaar said Ndungane will provide some vital experience to their backline which will also see young gun Handré Pollard make his Currie Cup debut.
"Akona brings massive experience back into the team. It would be a massive challenge playing a quality Sharks team without that type of experience," Pienaar told the SowetanLIVE website
Despite the young Pollard's inexperience, Pienaar was quite at ease handing the 19-year-old a debut at a very tough venue.
"Handré was part of our plans all along and had it not been for a shoulder injury sustained in pre-season, he could have had a number of matches at this level under his belt already. He might be young in years, but have an old rugby head on him. We are keen to go out there and deliver," Pienaar said.
Kick-off at Kings Park is at 17:05 on Saturday.Teams:
15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Louis Ludik, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Jacques Botes (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6. Keegan Daniel, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Peet Marais, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Dale Chadwick
Substitutes: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Rayno Gerber, 18 Edwin Hewitt, 19 Justin Downey, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Butch James, 22 Jaco van TonderBlue Bulls:
15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Waylon Murray
, 12 Ulrich Beyers, 11 Akona Ndungane, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Morné Mellett
Substitutes: 16 Bandise Maku
, 17 Werner Kruger
, 18 David Bullbring, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Tiaan Schoeman, 22 Clayton Blommetjies