Pretoria - Springbok Sevens player Jamba Ulengo will make his Currie Cup debut
for the Blue Bulls against the Golden Lions at Loftus Versfeld on
Coach Frans Ludeke on Thursday said the timing of Ulengo's inclusion was "exactly right" for the player.
worked hard for this opportunity and I want to see what Sevens skills
he can bring to the 15s game, especially in space where he can really
put the defence under pressure in broken play. He's big, strong and
Ludeke named a starting pack with just one change as he looks to his forwards to dominate the set-piece and gain-line.
Bongi Mbonambi is the only new face up front, relegating Callie Visagie
to the bench, but in the backline Ludeke has introduced four new
players and made a positional switch.
An injury to Jesse Kriel
sees Ulrich Beyers back in the number 15 jersey, while Springbok JJ
Engelbrecht returns from an injury-enforced absence at outside centre,
pushing William Small-Smith out of the match-day 22.
With Ulengo on the left win, Sampie Mastriet shifts to number 14, replacing Akona Ndungane, who has a bruised knee.
also decided to back experience at flyhalf, with Jacques-Louis
Potgieter returning to the number 10 jersey, while Rudy Paige is
preferred to Piet van Zyl at scrumhalf.
"Quality set-piece ball
and controlling possession are going to be the key for both teams and
we're going to be striving for momentum and energy," Ludeke said.
confident Bongi will bring exactly the same at the scrum as Callie
Visagie, but the Lions are a team that like to move the ball around so
we've elected to go for Bongi to start."
Springbok Bjorn Basson's
comeback from an ankle injury will now probably happen a week later
than expected after the 27-year-old lost his grandfather on Thursday
Ludeke said Saturday's match was the "most important game of the season" for the Bulls, who languish in sixth place on the log.
"You can call it do or die, and it's vital for us to win to stay in the race.Blue Bulls:
Kick-off for Saturday's clash is scheduled for 19:10.
15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Burger Odendaal , 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Jono Ross, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann (captain), 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Basil Short, 18 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Tony Jantjies, 22 Ryan Nell
15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Lionel Mapoe, 13. Stokkies Hanekom, 12. Alwyn Hollenbach, 11. Ruan Combrinck, 10. Jaco van der Walt, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Derick Minnie, 7. Warwick Tecklenburg, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. MB Lusaseni, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Willie Wepener, 1. Schalk van der Merwe
Substitutes: 16. Armand van der Merwe, 17. Jacques van Rooyen, 18. Martin Muller, 19. Willie Britz, 20. Kwagga Smith, 21. Mark Richards, 22. Howard Mnisi