Blue Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer was able to announce a strong team for the first Absa Currie Cup match against the Falcons this weekend.
Much has been made of the fact that some 27 players are missing, either on national duty or due to injury, but still the team selected has experience and talent in most departments.
The backline especially looks dangerous. Frikkie Welsh will captain the side and will partner JP Nel in a solid midfield pairing. The halfbacks, Morne Steyn and Heini Adams have proven themselves at Super 14 level and will be a handful for any team in the competition.
The wings, Akona Ndungane – who many felt should have been part of Jake White’s Springbok squad – and Sevens Bok Danwell Demas have gas to burn and if they can get the ball with some space then the Falcons will be in trouble. Another Sevens Bok Stefan Basson will start in the No 15 jersey.
A concern for Meyer might be the forwards, who are untried as a unit, but who definitely boast some talent in the ranks.
The match, at loftus Versfeld, kicks-off at 6pm on Friday.
Blue Bulls v Falcons:
15 Stefan Basson, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Frikkie Welsh (captain), 12 JP Nel, 11 Danwel Demas, 10 MornÃ© Steyn, 9 Heini Adams; 8 Emile Verster, 7 Tim Dlulane, 6 Derick KuÃ¼n, 5 Francois van Schouwenburg, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Rayno Gerber, 2 Kobus vd Walt, 1 Wessel Roux.
Replacements: 16 Harry Vermaas, 17 Jaco Engels, 18 Cliffie Milton, 19 Warren Brosnihan, 20 Neil Powell, 21 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22 Riaan vd Bergh.
By Andrew Hollely