Currie Cup

Bulls skipper set for milestone

2015-09-23 12:11
Lappies Labuschagne (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais has named his team to tackle the Sharks in a Currie Cup clash in Durban on Friday (20:00 kick-off).

Lappies Labuschagne will play in his 50th Currie Cup match when he leads the Bulls at Kings Park.

The flank reverts back to the side of the scrum due to the wrist injury to Roelof Smit, with Arno Botha, who started on the bench against WP last week, back in the No 8 jersey.

Smit underwent an operation on Tuesday to repair torn wrist ligaments and will be out for four months.

This is the only change to the pack made by Marais, with two rotational switches in the backline made for the Durban clash.

Tian Schoeman and Jan Serfontein will start at flyhalf and centre respectively, switching places with Louis Fouche and Dries Swanepoel, who both move to the bench for this clash.

Ruan Steenkamp is on the bench for Botha, in what could be a Blue Bulls and Currie Cup debut, should the former Junior Springbok captain take to the field.

“I feel for Roelof who will miss this match, as he has played very well over the last couple of weeks,” Marais said. “That said, Arno is a Springbok and coming back to his best after a long time out of the game and I predict a strong game from him.”

Marais also tweaked his inside backs with the Sharks in mind.

“We wanted to play a particular way in Cape Town and selected a team accordingly. The same applies with this match in Durban. We need to get back into a winning rhythm again and I believe this team will be able to take us there.”

Labuschagne does not worry about his milestone too much, but is rather focused on a good team performance.

“It is nice to play 50 matches in the Currie Cup. It remains one of the best competitions to be involved in, but to be honest, the team comes before that. We need to step up to the mark we left earlier in the season. We slipped off the pace in the last two weeks, so everyone is aware of the urgency and accuracy we need if we want to beat the Sharks in Durban.”



15. Odwa Ndungane, 14. Wandile Mjekevu, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. S’bura Sithole, 10. Joe Pietersen, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Philip van der Walt (captain), 7. Christiaan de Bruin, 6. Francois Kleinhans, 5. Dave McDuling, 4. Etienne Oosthuizen, 3. Gerhard Engelbrecht, 2. Franco Marais, 1. Thomas du Toit

Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Mzamo Majola, 18. Marco Wentzel, 19. Jean Deysel, 20. Michael Claassens, 21. Heimar Williams, 22. Garth April

Blue Bulls:

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Lappies Labuschagne (captain), 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Pierre Schoeman

Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Ruan Steenkamp, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Louis Fouche, 22 Dries Swanepoel


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