Springbok Rudy Paige will start at scrumhalf when the Blue Bulls take on Western Province in this Saturday’s semi-final at Loftus.
Paige has overcome a concussion suffered while with the Boks, and will be able to start his first Currie Cup game of the season at No 9. However, Piet van Zyl will miss out after suffering a head knock in training with the national side last week.
In one other change to the backline, a fit-again Travis Ismaiel returns in place of Bjorn Basson on the wing.
Up front, Arno Botha is back from injury to start at No 8 as he takes over the captaincy from Hanro Liebenberg, who will move to the bench.
Jannes Kirsten is also promoted to the starting team at flank after he came off the bench in the Bulls’ final pool game, while in the front row, rotations see Jaco Visagie and Lizo Gqoboka named to start.
Blue Bulls – 15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Arno Botha (c), 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Subs: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Martin Dreyer, 18 Pierre Schoeman, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Hanro Liebenberg, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 Bjorn Basson/Nic de Jager.
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images