Bulls welcome back Venter
Francois Venter (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar welcomes back a fit-again Francois Venter to his midfield ahead of their Currie Cup clash against the Free State Cheetahs and will give Jacques Engelbrecht a first start in the blue jersey.
Venter replaces Ulrich Beyers, who moves to the bench while loose forward Engelbrecht replaces Jacques du Plessis in a team that shows three changes to the starting line-up.
Injured prop Morné Mellett is replaced by Marcel van der Merwe, who will face the team he played for last year for the first time.
Veteran wing Akona Ndungane will play in his 50th Currie Cup match for the Blue Bulls.
“We cannot afford any slip-ups or soft moments any more if we want to stay in contention for the Currie Cup,” Pienaar said on Wednesday.
“We have shown signs of progress, but too often we allowed our opponents to force their game plan on us. Against the Cheetahs we need to be focused on playing the game our style and at our tempo.”
Kick-off at Loftus Versfeld is at 17:05 on Saturday.Teams:
15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Akona Ndungane, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques Engelbrecht, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Marcel van der Merwe
Substitutes: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 David Bulbring, 19 Jacques du Plessis, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Ulrich Beyers, 22 Clayton Blommetjies/Tiaan SchoemanFree State Cheetahs:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Johannes Prinsloo (captain), 5 Lodewyk De Jager, 4 Teboho Mohoje, 3 Rossouw De Klerk, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Substitutes: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Wian Du Preez, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Davon Raubenheimer, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Willie Du Plessis, 22 Piet Lindeque