Currie Cup

Ross to lead Blue Bulls

2014-09-18 14:20
Jono Ross (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - Jono Ross will lead the Blue Bulls in the absence of suspended skipper Deon Stegmann when they play the Cell C Sharks in a Currie Cup clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday (17:05 kick-off).

Ross was the regular skipper in 2013 and will lead a team which includes four new faces in Wiaan Liebenberg, Callie Visagie, Sampie Mastriet and Rudy Paige from the starting line-up which beat EP Kings last weekend.

Liebenberg comes in for Stegmann, a fit-again Visagie replaces Bongi Mbonambi and Mastriet comes in for Akona Ndungane on the wing. Paige moves up from the bench swopping places with Piet van Zyl, while Mbonambi edges out Bandise Maku.

Jesse Kriel (for Ryan Nell) has been included on the bench having recovered from an ankle injury, as is Morne Mellett (for Basil Short), back after knee rehabilitation. Tian Schoeman replaces Tony Jantjies as back-up flyhalf in a final selection switch for this Currie Cup clash.

Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke admitted that they will have to be at their best against the visitors, who are currently in fourth spot on the Premier Division log. The Blue Bulls are in sixth position.

“We are now in a critical phase of the competition. It is already clear to all that you need to be at your very best every weekend if you want to make the final four, so we really don’t have any other option. The Sharks are well-balanced and have massive strike power at the back.”

Ludeke said it was too early to look at playoff permutations.

“We can only run our own race week after week and that will ultimately determine our fate. If we keep on winning and get the right result in the remaining weeks, I am sure we will be in the top four, but we cannot afford to look past this weekend’s match.”


Blue Bulls:

15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques Louis Potgieter, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Morné Mellett, 18 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Jesse Kriel


15. SP Marais, 14. S’bura Sithole, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Lionel Cronje, 9. Conrad Hoffmann, 8. Tera Mtembu (captain), 7. Etienne Oosthuizen, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Marco Wentzel, 4. JC Astle, 3. Lourens Adriaanse, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Dale Chadwick

Substitutes: 16. Franco Marais, 17. Danie Mienie, 18. Johan Meyer, 19. Khaya Majola, 20. Cameron Wright, 21. Tim Swiel, 22. Tonderai Chavhanga  

Read more on:    sharks  |  blue bulls  |  currie cup  |  pretoria  |  rugby

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