Lizo Gqoboka returns to skipper the Vodacom Bulls, with vice-captain Lionel Mapoe, as coach Edgar Marutlulle selected a mix of experience and youth for Friday’s clash against the Cheetahs.
Gqoboka will start alongside Jan-Hendrik Wessels and Robert Hunt in the front row for the round 3 Currie Cup clash in Bloemfontein.
Jacques du Plessis and Reinhardt Ludwig will slot into the second row, with Cameron Hanekom, Mihlali Mosi and Muller Uys behind them in the back row.
Keagan Johannes will lace up at scrumhalf with Chris Barend Smit coming in at flyhalf. Mapoe and Wandisile Simelane will form part of the centre pairing with Kabelo Mokoena and Quewin Nortje on the wings, as Franco Knoetze marshals the troops at fullback.
Franco Knoetze and Adriaan Joubert are set to make their debuts for the Bulls, with Juan van der Weshuizen set to feature as one of Pretoria club rugby’s success stories.
“We have gone with a balanced side in terms of experience and youth, giving players an opportunity and giving ourselves the best possible combination to get the result,” Marutlulle said.
“We have also opted to rest some senior players because player management and welfare is important in such a long season as the one ahead.”
“We have the best club system in the land and testament to this fact, is the bubbling talent that filters through from the Carlton League. Congratulations to Franco and Joubert on the debuts and they get to share this special day with Juan.
“I think all of this is wonderful because it is good to reward our club structures because they continue to help us get to the position of being a dominant franchise in South Africa,”
“We look forward to more players making their debuts from the club system right into the professional ranks, this is fantastic for South African rugby.”
? TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT ?
Here is your Vodacom Bulls team to take on the Toyota Cheetahs in round 3 of @TheCurrieCup
?Fri, 23 Mar
? Currie Cup
? SuperSport Rugby
? U20’s curtain Raiser at 14:30 pic.twitter.com/Cln9XFqF4P
— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) March 22, 2023
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images