Bulls’ Bok duo benched

Victor Matfield and Pierre Spies will play off the bench for the Blue Bulls against Boland at Loftus on Friday.

It was felt that Matfield and Spies needed a break after playing major roles for the Springboks in the Tri-Nations.

Springbok scrumhalf Fourie du Preez will start in a side that features a number of changes from the one that fronted the Sharks in Durban last week. Danie Rossouw, Bryan Habana and Wynand Olivier weren’t considered due to injury, which allows Juandré Kruger, John Mametsa and Wayne Julies to start.

Wikus van Heerden takes over the captaincy from Matfield and Dewald Potgieter starts at No 8. Kruger partners Wilhelm Steenkamp in the second row, while Mametsa will be in a back three together with Tiger Mangweni and Akona Ndungane. Zane Kirchner returns from injury and will play off the bench.

Deon Stegmann earns a well deserved break break and this sees Pedrie Wannenburg operating at blindside flank, with Van Heerden assuming openside duties.

At tighthead Rayno Gerber swaps places with Werner Kruger, Gurthrö Steenkamp will start at loosehead prop and Bandise Maku as the hooker reserve.

Blue Bulls – 15 Tiger Mangweni; 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Marius Delport, 12 Wayne Julies, 11 John Mametsa; 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez; 8 Dewald Potgieter, 7 Wikus van Heerden (c), 6 Pedrie Wannenburg, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Juandré Kruger, 3 Rayno Gerber, 2 Derick Kuün, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Subs: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Victor Matfield, 19 Pierre Spies, 20 Heini Adams, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Zane Kirchner.