Embrose Papier has been included in the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ starting lineup for their Rugby Challenge match against the Welwitschias on Saturday.
Interestingly, Papier has fallen out of the Bulls’ Super Rugby match day squad, with Ivan van Zyl starting and Andre Warner on the bench.
There are four undefeated teams in each of the north and south sections of the Rugby Challenge competition after last weekend’s opening round, but that number will be cut dramatically as a number of them face each other in round two of the competition.
In the south section, one of Boland Cavaliers and Free State XV will have their flags lowered in Paternoster, while the other two undefeated teams, Western Province and Border, clash in East London. This will leave the south section with only two undefeated teams after two weeks of action.
In the same breath, Zimbabwe Academy and the Sharks XV (in Constantia), and the EP Elephants and SWD Eagles (in Port Elizabeth) will be looking to register their first victories in the new season.
The north section only has one match where both squads are undefeated, and that will change in Welkom on Saturday when the Griffons host neighbouring Griquas.
The Leopards (against the Golden Lions XV), Blue Bulls (against the Welwitschias) and Valke (against the Pumas) will all hope that home ground advantage will count in their favour as they aim for their first wins in 2019.
The Leopards travel to Wolmaranstad for the first time, while Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria and the Bosman Stadium in Brakpan will welcome teams for the first time this season. The match in Brakpan will be a repeat of the clash in 2018, when the teams played to a 41-41 draw.
Round 2 fixtures (all Saturday):
Boland Cavaliers v Free State XV (Paternoster, 2pm)
EP Elephants v SWD Eagles (Port Elizabeth, 3:30pm)
Zimbabwe Academy v Sharks XV (False Bay, 3:30pm)
Border Bulldogs v Western Province (East London, 4pm)
Blue Bulls v Welwitschias (Pretoria, 12:45pm)
Valke v Pumas (Brakpan, 3pm)
Leopards v Golden Lions XV (Wolmaransstad, 3:30pm)
Griffons v Griquas (Welkom, 4pm)
Photo: Johan Rynners/Gallo Images