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Blue Bulls make four changes for W.Province

Jacques Louis Potgieter has been bracketed for this week

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Article Published: Thursday 28 August 2014|

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Blue Bulls Currie Cup coach Frans Ludeke has named his team to play Western Province at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday with a potential debut for flyhalf Joshua Stander.

Stander could earn his first senior start for the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup if Jacques-Louis Potgieter fails a fitness test before the match.

The 20-year old former Queens College player has been bracketed in the team and will replace Potgieter if necessary.

Stander has played for the Blue Bulls Under-21 side in the Provincial Championship this season and was an unused replacement in the victory against the EP Kings last weekend.

Should Stander or Potgieter play, they will be one of four changes to the side that won against the Kings.

The flyhalf will come in for Tony Jantjies (concussion), while Piet van Zyl (for Rudy Paige - bench), Callie Visagie (for Bongi Mbonambi - bench) and Werner Kruger (for Marcel van der Merwe - Springboks) will return to the run-on team.

On the bench, Tian Schoeman (for Stander) and Ryan Nell (for Ulrich Beyers) could make their Currie Cup debuts.

Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke admitted that they face an uphill battle this weekend against the undefeated Western Province.

"It is not ideal when you have to bracket players two days before a match, especially at flyhalf, but we can only make the final call once it is clear that Jacques-Louis cannot play. He has made great progress following his rib injury and we will leave the decision on his inclusion as late as possible."

Ludeke was confident that the Blue Bulls could continue their winning form at Loftus Versfeld.

"No doubt that WP is playing very well and outplayed us in Cape Town a couple of weeks back, but we have turned the corner since then, I believe. We will be up against it, but there is no reason why we cannot be very competitive," Ludeke said.

"We have an experienced pack that will hold their own and the new faces in the backs are all full of attacking potential."

Blue Bulls

15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Jacques Louis Potgieter/Joshua Stander, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Jono Ross, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann (k), 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling

Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Hencus van Wyk, 18 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Ryan Nell.

 
 
 
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Currie Cup Table

Currie Cup table (Premier Division)              Currie Cup Table
 
Team
P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
Bp
Ttl
1. W.Province 10 8 2 0 335 206 129 7 39
2. Lions 10 7 3 0 362 206 156 8 36
3 10 7 2 1 287 222 65 3 33
4. 10 6 4 0 271 235 27 4 28
5. 10 3 6 1 249 394 -45 7 21
6.
Pumas
10 4 6 0 237 269 -32 4 20
7. 10 3 7 0 220 332 -112 3 11
8. EP Kings 10 1 9 0 206 403 -197 1 6

(Updated each Monday to check with officials)