Smit gets starting role for Bulls
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Flank Roelof Smit will make a first start for the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup against Griquas at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
Smit, who played off the bench against the Golden Lions and Pumas in the last two weeks, will pack down at the side of the scrum for this crucial clash in place of Ruan Steenkamp, who is out injured.
Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais made two rotational changes in the pack as well. Jaco Visagie will start at hooker, swopping places with Bandise Maku, who moves to the bench, while Pierre Schoeman rotates with Lizo Gqoboka at loosehead.
The return to fitness of Jannes Kirsten and Jason Jenkins will see both playing off the bench. Kirsten fills the spot vacated by Smit and Jenkins replaces Irne Herbst on the bench. Amongst the backs replacements, Bjorn Basson is bracketed with Divan Rossouw, but will play if declared fit.
The coach welcomes Smit as a starter. "Roelof has certainly added value coming off the bench, and although it is sad that Ruan Steenkamp misses out, I know Roelof will not disappoint."
Blue Bulls: 15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (captain), 7 Nic de Jager, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rudolph Snyman,3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Martin Dreyer, 18 Jason Jenkins, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Andre Warner, 21 Joshua Stander, 22 Bjorn Basson/Divan Rossouw.
Date: Friday, September 16
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Jaco Pretorius
TMO: Johan Greeff