Jesse Kriel will start at fullback for the Blue Bulls against the EP Kings at Loftus on Saturday.
Following two away defeats against the Golden Lions and Western Province, coach Frans Ludeke has decided on first-time starts for Kriel, William Small-Smith (outside centre), Tony Jantjies (flyhalf), Rudi Paige (scrumhalf) and Bongo Mbonambi (hooker), while Marcel van der Merwe is moved from loosehead to tighthead with Dean Greyling returning after suspension.
Callie Visagie, JJ Engelbrecht, Jacques Engelbrecht and Jürgen Visser are all 'rested', while Jacques-Louis Potgieter is injured.
Regular U21 pivot Joshua Stander will be amongst the reserves and if called upon, will make his Currie Cup debut.
'We are under pressure following our opening two defeats and that is not the ideal position after only three weeks into a competition,' Ludeke admitted. 'This is an experienced squad that have responded under pressure in the past, so I am confident we will deliver a better performance this week. We have been underachieving away from Loftus and we welcome the chance to have home-ground advantage again.'
Blue Bulls – 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudi Paige, 8 Jono Ross, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann (c), 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Dean Greyling.
Subs: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 19 Wiaan Liebenburg, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Joshua Stander, 22 Ulrich Beyers.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images