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Fri Apr 18 00:17:19 SAST 2014

Returning Boks to start for Bulls

TEAMtalk Media | 19 September, 2012 13:230 Comments
The Castle Rugby Championship: South Africa Springboks Training Session
Jano Vermaak passes the ball during a Springboks training session at Hale School on September 5, 2012 in Perth, Australia
Image by: Paul Kane / Gallo Images

Returning Springboks Jano Vermaak and Jacques Potgieter have been included in the Blue Bulls starting XV for Saturday's clash with the Free State Cheetahs in Pretoria.

Vermaak will play at scrum-half and Potgieter will form part of a new loose trio combination that also includes Arno Botha, who returns from injury.

Potgieter replaces CJ Stander, who will play off the bench, while Botha replaces Warwick Tecklenburg, who is rested.

Vermaak's inclusion in place of Rudy Paige is one of three changes amongst the backs.

Sampie Mastriet will make his debut on the wing, while JJ Engelbrecht moves to outside centre, with Ulrich Beyers dropping to the bench.

Other changes up front sees Mornè Mellett replacing the injured Dawie Steyn and at lock Franco Mostert comes into the run-on side in place of Grant Hattingh, who is injured.

Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar admitted that a victory is imperative for them to stay in contention for a play-off place.

"Our task is a simple one," he said.

"We have to win every match from here on in if we want to play in the semi-finals.

"Everyone understands that and accepts the fact that we only have ourselves to blame for this.

"It is great to have the likes of Jano and Jacques back and I am sure their experience will be very valuable on the weekend."

Captain, Dewald Potgieter, admitted that they have their backs to the wall.

"There are no second chances left," he said.

"We have to turn this season around and justify all the hard work that we put in and reward the faith that has been placed in us."

Blue Bulls: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Louis Fouchè, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Dewald Potgieter (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Mornè Mellett.

Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Cornell Hess, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Lionel Cronjè, 22 Ulrich Beyers.

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