Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pote Human has made just one change to his team for the Absa Currie Cup clash with the Pumas on Saturday.
Centre JP Nel’s hamstring injury has forced Human to move his captain Frikkie Welsh to outside centre, making way for the return of Dries Scholtz in the No 12 jersey.
After much speculation in the past few days, there was no place in the match 22 for either flyhalf Derick Hougaard or flank Johan Wassermann. However, fullback Johan Roets makes his comeback and will start on the bench.
“Derick is not quite right and we don’t want to risk him as we will need him in the second half of the Currie Cup,” coach Pote Human said. “I expect he will be back in the next two to three weeks.”
That means the No 10 will not be back for the crunch encounter against the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld next weekend that will go along way to shaping the Bulls campaign this year.
Wassermann though is closer to returning to the fold and is likely to be back for that match. “Wassie’s knee is still not 100%, but he was close to being considered for the Pumas game. He should be back against the Sharks.”
Also the idea to give Hottie Louw a run-on spot was shelved. â€œWe are bringing him slowly on and I am hoping to give him about 30 minutes on Saturday.â€
Human was aware of the challenge laid down by Pumas coach Chris Grobler, who believes his team can cause an upset. â€œI read about that and he has a quality team so he can feel confident. We know going to Witbank is never easy, but we have worked hard on the areas that needed work.
â€œThe guys have talked long and hard about the problems and Iâ€™m confident we will lift our game this weekend.â€
Vodacom Blue Bulls team v Pumas:
15 Stefan Basson, 14 John Mametsa, 13 Frikkie Welsh (captain), 12 Dries Scholtz, 11 Marius Delport, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Heini Adams; 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Tim Dlulane, 6 Warren Brosnihan, 5 Francois van Schouwenburg, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Rayno Gerber, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Wessel Roux.
Replacements: 16 Kobus van der Walt, 17 Jaco Engels, 18 Hottie Louw, 19 Hilton Lobberts, 20 Neil Powell, 21 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22 Johan Roets.
By Andrew Hollely, at Loftus Versfeld