Teenage flank Reinhardt Ludwig will make his debut for the Vodacom Bulls in their United Rugby Championship clash against the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The 19-year-old, who has been a key figure in the U20 side over the past year, is an exciting addition to a Bulls side looking to resume the inaugural 2021/2022 season on a high.
There will be no shortage of experience alongside him, with Arno Botha starting at openside flank while Elrigh Louw packs down at No 8.
Springbok centre Cornal Hendricks will captain the side this week.
Tighthead prop Mornay Smith returns to the starting XV in a front-row combination with Gerhard Steenekamp and hooker Johan Grobbelaar.
Wingers Kurt-Lee Arendse and Madosh Tambwe complete the back three with fullback David Kriel.
Boks Bismarck du Plessis, Lizo Gqoboka, Marcell Coetzee and Morne Steyn, who all featured for the Bulls against Western Province in the Currie Cup on Wednesday, have been selected on the bench for this URC showdown.
Commenting on his team selection, Bulls director of rugby Jake White said: “The rivalry between the Bulls and Stormers always sets us up for an exhilarating encounter.
“This weekend will be no different, and to begin the year in the United Rugby Championship against a quality side like the Stormers will be important in determining where we are as a team after the end-year break.
“While we look forward to entertaining the 2000 spectators who will be at Loftus Versfeld, we can only hope that we will soon see the numbers increase and we return to some form of normality, which is important commercially, for sponsors, fans and all rugby stakeholders.”
Bulls – 15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Reinhardt Ludwig, 6 Arno Botha, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Subs: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Zak Burger, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Harold Vorster.
🚨 TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT 🚨
— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) January 21, 2022