Hougaard back at scrumhalf for Bulls

Francois Hougaard will wear the Blue Bulls No 9 jersey for their friendly match against the EP Kings in PE on Friday.

Hougaard played on the wing during the recent Vodacom Super Rugby tournament and failed to earn selection for the Springbok squad.

There are another four Boks in the Bulls starting lineup – No 8 Arno Botha, openside flank Deon Stegmann, No 4 lock Flip van der Merwe and tighthead prop Werner Kruger. Another Bok prop, Dean Greyling, is on an extended bench.

Junior Springboks Warrick Gelant, Travis Ismaiel, William Small-Smith and Daniel Kriel are included among the backs and Jannes Kirsten and Marvin Orie among the pack.

Meanwhile, former Bok flank Luke Watson will start Friday's match on the bench as the EP Kings look to manage his return after he sustained a slight quad tear.

Experienced forwards Schalk Ferreira, Jacques Engelbrecht and Steven Sykes have been included in the starting line-up. Engelbrecht has been loaned to the Kings by the Bulls for the Currie Cup.

Blue Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Daniel Kriel, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Flip van der Merwe (c), 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Morné Mellett.
Subs: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Dean Greyling, 18 Nqoba Mxoli, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Clyde Davids, 21 Roelof Smit, 22 Ivan van Zyl, 23 Marais Schmidt, 24 Dries Swanepoel, 25 Jade Stighling, 26 Kefentse Mahlo.

EP Kings – 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Tim Whitehead (c),11 Luther Obi, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Jacques Engelbrecht, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Steven Sykes, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Basil Short, 2 Michael van Vuuren, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Subs: 16 Albe de Swardt, 17 Tom Botha, 18 Cameron Lindsay, 19 Luke Watson, 20 Enrico Acker, 21 Karlo Aspeling, 22 Tythan Adams, 23 Lizo Gqoboka, 24 Tazz Fuzani, 25 JP du Plessis, 26 Marlou van Niekerk.

Photo: Barry Aldworth/BackpagePix

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