Cape Town - Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais has played down the notion that the Currie Cup has become a second-rate competition.
Marais’ Blue Bulls are in this year’s Currie Cup final where they will tackle the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this weeken.
Loftus Versfeld was not even half-full (17 968) when the Bulls beat Western Province 36-30 in last week’s semi-finals, but the Free State Stadium is expected to be near full capacity for Saturday’s final.
“People who say the competition is watered-down probably had broken TVs,” Marais told Netwerk24.
“The stadium will be packed to full capacity on Saturday. How do you sell all the tickets if the competition is watered-down? Surely it means there is lots of interest.
“The Currie Cup has such a rich tradition and it’s unique to South African rugby. I’m sure Franco (Smith, Cheetahs coach) is just as eager to win the cup.”
Saturday’s final is scheduled for 16:00.
Free State Cheetahs
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais
Substitutes: Jacques du Toit, Ox Nche, Armandt Koster, Henco Venter, Tian Meyer, Fred Zeilinga, Rayno Benjamin, Conrad van Vuuren
15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Arno Botha (captain), 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Substitutes: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Martin Dreyer, 18 Pierre Schoeman, 19 Nic de Jager, 20 Hanro Liebenberg, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 Bjorn Basson