Pretoria - Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais named Springbok
prop Marcel van der Merwe in his starting front-row and added Springbok
midfielder Jan Serfontein to his bench for Friday's Currie Cup match against Free
State Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld (19:10 kick-off).
Marais also has Francois Hougaard back in the starting team
after the scrumhalf missed last week's win over Griquas due to personal
reasons. He replaces Ivan van Zyl who moves back to the bench.
Hougaard's return is the only change in the backline, but
Marais made three changes in the pack. Van der Merwe comes in for Werner
Kruger, who is rested and a fit-again Roelof Smit comes in for Jannes Kirsten
at flank, with the latter moving to the bench.
In the other change, Dean Greyling will be replaced Pierre
Schoeman. Greyling has a knee strain and with Schoeman fit and ready to go
following a long injury lay-off, Marais decided to give Greyling a break.
Under-21 regular Schoeman will make his debut in the
competition, but has played for the Blue Bulls in the Vodacom Cup.
Serfontein comes in for Dan Kriel, who will return to the
"Jan will certainly add some class to our backline. He
is in need of game time and there is no need to rush him back, so he will
contribute off the bench,” said Marais.
Blue Bulls captain, Lappies Labuschagne, is happy to have
the Springboks back in the team.
"Both Marcel and Jan were very unlucky to miss out on a
World Cup spot, so we are very pleased that they are back to play for us. They
will be keen to show why they should have been in the squad and that motivation
will spur us on. The Cheetahs are dangerous and have their tails up, so we will
need to be sharp on Friday.”
15 Warrick Gelant, 14
Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10
Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Roelof Smit, 6 Lappies
Labuschagne (captain), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Marcel van der
Merwe, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Jaco
Visagie, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Ivan
van Zyl, 21 Louis Fouche, 22 Jan Serfontein
Free State Cheetahs:
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Rayno
Benjamin, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan,
7 Henco Venter, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Armandt Koster,
3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 BG Uys
Substitutes: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Reniel Hugo, 19
Oupa Mohoje, 20 Freddy Ngoza, 21, Ruan van Rensburg, 22 Sias Ebersohn