The coach of the Vodacom Blue Bulls Frans Ludeke has decided to put Victor Matfield and Pierre Spies on the bench for Friday’s ABSA Currie Cup match at Loftus Versfeld against the Boland Cavaliers.
The Bulls’ official website reports that Matfield and Spies will have a few days off in order to rest after a strenuous Tri-Nations campaign but Ludeke says he doesn’t want them completely out of the picture because he wants to get some continuity going in the last couple of weeks.
That means Wikus van Heerden takes over the captaincy from Matfield and the young gifted Dewald Potgieter will get his first start in the Bulls’ number 8-jersey.
Players like Danie Rossouw, Bryan Habana and Wynand Olivier weren’t considered due to injury, which opens the door for Juandré Kruger, John Mametsa and Wayne Julies to start on Friday.
Kruger will scrum in the second row at the side of Wilhelm Steenkamp, while Mametsa will be in a back three together with Tiger Mangweni and Akona Ndungane.
Julies partners Marius Delport in the midfield, whilst Fourie du Preez will be the scrumhalf. Du Preez hasn’t played as many matches in 2008 as someone like Matfield and therefore he is still fresh to start against the Cavaliers.
However, Deon Stegmann gets a complete break after he has been involved in almost all of the Super 14 and Currie Cup matches and that means Pedrie Wannenburg will be used as the blindside flanker.
Van Heerden will fulfill the role of the openside flank and Wannenburg will be used as the primary ball carrier.
At tighthead Rayno Gerber swaps places with Werner Kruger, while Jaco Engels and Chiliboy Ralepelle weren’t considered due to the rotation policy.
With Engels and Ralepelle on the sideline, Gurthrö Steenkamp will start in the number 1-jersey with Bandise as the hooker reserve.
Vodacom Blue Bulls: Tiger Mangweni; Akona Ndungane, Marius Delport, Wayne Julies, John Mametsa; Morné Steyn, Fourie du Preez; Dewald Potgieter, Wikus van Heerden (captain), Pedrie Wannenburg, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Juandré Kruger, Rayno Gerber, Derick Kuün, Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Reserves: Bandise Maku, Werner Kruger, Victor Matfield, Pierre Spies, Heini Adams, Burton Francis, Zane Kirchner.