Blue Bulls turn to Pollard

Wed, 28 Aug 2013 10:56
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Junior World Cup winning flyhalf Handrè Pollard will make his Currie Cup debut for the Blue Bulls against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

Junior World Cup winning flyhalf Handrè Pollard will make his Currie Cup debut for the Blue Bulls against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

Pollard replaces the injured Tony Jantjies in one of three changes to the backline.

With Francois Venter and Travis Ismaiel also casualties from last weekend's crushing loss to the Golden Lions, Waylon Murray will start at outside centre and fit-again Akona Ndungane at wing.

Frik Kirsten is back at tighthead prop after an ankle injury ruled him out of the last two matches. Recently signed lock David Bullbring will make his debut off the bench after the former Southern Kings player was named ahead of Wilhelm Steenkamp.

Another new face on the bench is Vodacom Cup flyhalf Tiaan Schoeman.

"There is a lot to answer for this weekend," coach Pine Pienaar said in announcing the team on Wednesday.

"We have disappointed a lot of people, including ourselves, with our performance last weekend against the Lions and the only way to get that out of the system is to go to Durban and get a result."

Pienaar was quite at ease handing Pollard a debut at a very tough venue.

"Handrè was part of our plans all along and had it not been for a shoulder injury sustained in pre-season, he could have had a number of matches at this level under his belt already. He might be young in years, but has an old rugby head on him. We are keen to go out there and deliver," Pienaar said.

Blue Bulls: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Ulrich Beyers, 11 Akona Ndungane, 10 Handrè Pollard, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Morné Mellett.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 David Bullbring, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Tiaan Schoeman, 22 Clayton Blommetjies.

Date: Saturday, August 31
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Reuben Rossouw
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

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Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 10 10 0 0 48
Blue Bulls 10 8 0 2 39
Western Province 10 7 0 3 35
Free State Cheetahs 10 3 2 5 24
Sharks 10 4 1 5 22
Pumas 10 3 1 6 17
EP Kings 10 2 0 8 12
Griquas 10 1 0 9 8