Forward duo set for Bulls debuts, Libbok at No 10
Muller Uys and Ian Groenewald will both make their Super Rugby debuts when the Bulls host the Highlanders in Pretoria on Saturday.
Kick-off at Loftus Versfeld is at 17:15.
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Uys has more than proven his worth at junior level as the No 8 led the Blue Bulls under-21 team to the SA Rugby U21 Championship final last year, where they put in an emphatic effort to beat his former team, Western Province.
Groenewald has seen a fair bit of rugby with his journey starting at Maties before representing Western Province and Griquas at provincial level. The 28-year-old lock also represented Italian club Verona.
Big things are expected from these two players as they have impressed throughout training and warm-up matches, and now have the opportunity to stake a more permanent position within the Bulls.
Their inclusion at No 8 and lock respectively is two of three changes, with Ruan Nortje slotting in as Groenewald's lock partner.
Bulls head coach Pote Human made one change to the backline as Manie Libbok gets his first start of the season with Morne Steyn shifting to the bench.
The other change to the bench allows Ryno Pieterse to potentially add to his cap and is expected to provide serious power if he takes the field.
Human was straightforward when it came to explaining his selection as the Bulls are in desperate need of their first win of the season, but did crack a smile regarding Uys and Groenewald's upcoming debuts.
"We need to do things a little different this week, we are in Round 6 and are yet to win. Tough choices had to be made and the players and I understand what needs to be done and accept the accountability thereof.
"There is no doubt that we have our backs against the wall and will need to deal with that pressure to restore the pride and belief of the Loftus faithful.
"Muller and Ian have been working hard so it is great to see them being rewarded. They are both intelligent rugby players who leave nothing on the field. Congratulations to both."
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Nafi Tuitavake, 12 Johnny Kotze, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Muller Uys, 7 Josh Strauss, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 Trevor Nyakane (captain), 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Substitutes: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Ryno Pieterse, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Divan Rossouw
Michael Collins, 14 Josh McKay, 13 Ngane Punivai, 12 Josh Ioane, 11 Jona
Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith (co-captain), 8 Marino Mikaele
Tu’u, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 4 Jesse
Parete, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden Johnstone
16 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Jeff Thwaites,
19 Jack Whetton, 20 Teariki Ben-Nicholas, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22
Teihorangi Walden, 23 Tima Fainga'anuku
- The Bulls