Pretoria - Jan Serfontein will start at inside centre for the Blue Bulls when they take on the Golden Lions in a Currie Cup match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday (19:00 kick-off).
Serfontein earns a first start in the competition and teams up with Dries Swanepoel in the midfield, swopping places with Burger Odendaal, who moves to the bench.
Prop Dean Greyling is also fit again following a knee strain and he slots back into the starting line-up, replacing Pierre Schoeman, who swings back into Under-21 action.
It will be Greyling’s 50th appearance for the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup competition.
Another player returning is Werner Kruger, who will play off the bench and replaces Dayan van der Westhuizen, with the young prop also moving back to the Blue Bulls Under-21s.
In the third change to the squad which fronted up against the Free State Cheetahs last weekend, Deon Stegmann returns from a cheekbone injury in place of Jannes Kirsten.
“We have a massive challenge this weekend. The Lions have played great rugby for a while now and are not top of the log for nothing. We are building nicely as the season progresses and we are starting to find our feet and each other, but we are far from the finished product. It will mean that we will have to be at our very best to stay in this one,” Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais said.
Blue Bulls captain Lappies Labuschagne says the team are keen to play in this match.
“We have the intensity of a derby match, but also the knowledge that we are playing the team on form in the competition. These types of matches are the ones that test character and we will have to show we have what it takes.”
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Lappies Labuschagne (captain), 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Deon Stegmann, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Louis Fouche, 22 Burger Odendaal
15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Ruan Combrinck, 13. Stokkies Hanekom, 12. Howard Mnisi, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Fabian Booysen, 7. Stephan de Witt, 6. Jaco Kriel (captain), 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Martin Muller, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Jacques van Rooyen
Substitutes: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Julian Redelinghuys, 18. MB Lusaseni, 19. Kwagga Smith, 20. Jaco van der Walt, 21. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 22. Sampie Mastriet