Pretoria - Namibian World Cup star Renaldo Bothma will make
his Blue Bulls debut on Saturday when the Pretoria side take on the EP Kings
in Port Elizabeth in the Currie Cup Qualifying tournament.
The abrasive Bothma, who had provincial stints with the
Golden Lions, Leopards, Pumas and Sharks prior to the 2015 RWC, joined the Bulls
squad earlier this year, although injured at the time.
He is now fully fit and keen to make an impression against
the Port Elizabeth team.
Coach Hendré Marnitz made a number of changes to the side
that came up short against the Golden Lions in Alberton two weeks ago.
The likes of JT Jackson, Duncan Naude, Manie Libbok and
Aston Fortuin are training with the Junior Springboks, with only Libbok and
Fortuin included on the bench. Duncan Matthews starts at fullback in place of
Libbok, while Alcino Isaacs and Adrian Maebane comes in for Jackson and Naude.
Bothma's inclusion will see Ruan Steenkamp move to flank in
a new combination with Nic de Jager. Freddy Ngoza moves to the bench and
Tsomondo drops out.
Tighthead prop Dayan van Der Westhuizen will start in the
front row and replace injured Entienne Swanepoel. A new face on the bench is
winger Duhan van der Merwe, while former Bok Dean Greyling is also fit again
and will play off the bench.
Marnitz conceded the need for a good result.
"One win from four starts is not great and we know it.
We have not found the consistency in our play that we need, but I am pleased
with the way we trained and prepared. We will give it a good go and I am
confident that we will be very competitive in Port Elizabeth."
Kick-off is at 14:15
Blue Bulls team:
15 Duncan Matthews, 14 Kefentse Mahlo, 13 Alcino Isaacs, 12 Adrian
Maebane, 11 Jade Stighlingh, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Renaldo
Bothma, 7 Nic de Jager, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 4 Abongile
Nonkontwana, 3 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Nqobisizwe Mxoli
Substitutes: 16 Jan van der Merwe, 17 Dean Greyling, 18 Aston
Fortuin, 19 Freddy Ngoza, 20 Andre Warner, 21 Manie Libbok, 22 Duhan van der