Hanro Liebenberg will lead the Blue Bulls against the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday.
Bulls coach Pote Human has included one Currie Cup debutant, lock Ruan Nortje, in the run-on side. Flanker Thembelani Bholi will make his Bulls debut in the competition, and so will Theo Maree and Earll Dowrie if they come off the bench.
‘It is going to be tough to come back if you have a slow start in the competition, so every win will be crucial if you have ambitions to win the Currie Cup this year,’ said Human.
‘It is going to be a very interesting and tense competition this season and we are looking forward to the challenge. Our preparations have gone well and I think this squad will be very competitive.’
Blue Bulls – 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 JT Jackson, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Conrad van Vuuren, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Matthys Basson.
Subs: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 Hendre Stassen, 19 Jano Venter, 20 Theo Maree, 21 Tony Jantjies, 22 Earll Douwrie.
Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix