Pretoria - Blue Bulls flank Deon Stegmann returns to the
starting line-up for their Currie Cup clash against the Pumas in Nelspruit on
Friday (18:00 kick-off).
Stegmann was a late withdrawal from the team that beat the
EP Kings at Loftus Versfeld last weekend.
That prompted the call-up of Clyde Davids to the bench and
Jacques du Plessis moving to the flank, but with Stegmann fit again, it is back
to the regular starting pack for the match at Mbombela Stadium.
Du Plessis and Marvin Orie will start at lock, with RG
Snyman dropping back to the bench in place of Davids.
"This is our last match before the playoffs, so we need
to confirm the momentum and rhythm we want to take into the knockout stage. I
am happy that we could select a strong team for this match against a very
capable opponent," coach Nollis Marais said.
"We are probably playing our toughest match of the
year. The Pumas at home, on a very hot afternoon, can be a very taxing
encounter. We are going to need great individual performances, but also a
massive team effort to bring this one home. We dare not look past this match to
the playoffs, as we need to grow as a team and continue our upward curve in the
Blue Bulls captain, Lappies Labuschagne, feels that the home
side was unlucky in a number of matches this year and could easily have been
part of the playoffs.
"The Pumas are a dangerous opponent, full stop. They
have a solid pack and that enables their backs to prosper. We will need to win
this one up front, if we want to secure a win. It is going to be tough, but we
would not want it any other way."
15 Hoffmann Marnitz, 14 Bernado Botha, 13 Jerome Pretorius,
12 Stefan Watermeyer (captain), 11 Rosco Speckman, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Faf
de Klerk, 8 Jason-Colin Fraser, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Rudi
Mathee, 4 Giant Mtyanda, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Corne Fourie
Substitutes: 16 Frank Herne, 17 De-Jay Terblanché, 18 Marius
Coetzer, 19 Dylan Petersen, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Hennie Skorbinski, 22
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 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 Corniel Els, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 RG Snyman,
19 Ruan Steenkamp, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 William Small-Smith