The Blue Bulls team that runs out against the Pumas in Witbank at the weekend is likely to see a number of changes from that which lost to Western Province.
Lock Hottie Louw is likely to get the No 4 jersey from Adriaan Fondse after starting last week on the bench, while Dries Scholtz could make his comeback in the Bulls team for the injured JP Nel at outside centre.
Also long term casualty, fullback Johan Roets, will probably be included on the replacements bench. Roets has been out of action since injuring himself on the Bulls Vodacom Super 14 tour.
“I can confirm that Johan Roets will be in the match 22, but there is still doubt surrounding Derick (Hougaard) and Johan (Wassermann),” Blue Bulls team manager Wynie Strydom told keo.co.za.
Hougaard and Wassermann will undergo more fitness tests tomorrow ahead of the scheduled team announcement at midday.
“JP Nel has a hamstring problem so we will not risk him.” The Bulls find themselves in unfamiliar territory after suffering a shock loss to Western Province at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Anything less than a five-point haul in Witbank will simply not do, especially with the visit of Dick Muir’s in-form Sharks outfit next weekend.
By then though it is likely Roets, Hougaard and Wassermann will all be able to take a full part in the crunch match that is likely to have an extra bit of spice considering the tussle the two had in the Vodacom Super 14.
Possible Blue Bulls team v Pumas:
15. Stefan Basson, 14. John Mametsa, 13. Dries Scholtz, 12. Frikkie Welsh (captain), 11. Marius Delport, 10. Morne Steyn, 9. Heini Adams; 8. Pedrie Wannenburg, 7. Tim Dlulane, 6. Warren Brosnihan/Johan Wassermann, 5. Francois van Schouwenburg, 4. Hottie Louw, 3. Rayno Gerber, 2. Gary Botha, 1. Wessel Roux.
Replacements: 16. Kobus van der Walt, 17. Jaco Engels, 18. Adriaan Fondse, 19. Hilton Lobberts, 20. Neil Powell, 21. Jacques-Louis Potgieter/Derick Hougaard, 22. Johan Roets.
By Andrew Hollely