Bulls load up on Bok scrumhalves

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 10:30

SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais named an experienced squad of 49 players for their 2017 Currie Cup campaign.

The squad include Springbok scrumhalves Piet van Zyl and Rudy Paige, as well as wing Jamba Ulengo.

However, Jan Serfontein, Jesse Kriel, Lodewyk de Jager, Trevor Nyakane and Handré Pollard have tripartite agreements with the Springboks in place and will not be available for Currie Cup duty.

Marais named Ruan Steenkamp as captain for the campaign, although he has been ruled out of the opening weekend of the competition due to a hamstring injury.

The squad sees the return of prop Dayan van der Westhuizen and lock Irne Herbst, who just completed their loan stint with the Southern Kings, as well as the inclusion of BlitzBok forward Tim Agaba.

The Bulls open their campaign against Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.

They then have a bye before taking on the Golden Lions in their first home game of the tournament.

Marais expressed excitement about the tournament, hoping to go one better than last year, when the Blue Bulls lost in the final against the Free State Cheetahs.

"It is an exciting time for all of us," Marais said.

"Our new Executive of Rugby, John Mitchell, has joined us now and his input will be massive.

"We will be trying to build our unique style and although we will need time to find our feet in doing so, the focus will be progressing every week and build on that as the season progresses."

Bulls squad:

Forwards: Tim Agaba, Clyde Davids, Nic de Jager, Hanro Liebenberg, Jannes Kirsten, Abongile Nonkontwana, Freddy Ngoza, Roelof Smit, Boom Prinsloo, Ruan Steenkamp, Shaun Adendorff, Irne Herbst, Ruben van Heerden, Eli Snyman, Conraad van Vuuren, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Jacobie Adriaanse, Neetling Fouche, Matthys Basson, John-Roy Jenkinson, Martin Dreyer, Lizo Gqoboka, Njabulo Gumede, Pierre Schoeman, Edgar Marutlulle, Jaco Visagie, Jan-Henning Campher, Johan Grobbelaar.

Backs: Ulrich Beyers, Warrick Gelant, Duncan Matthews, Travis Ismaiel, Kafentse Mahlo, Rabs Maxwane, Jamba Ulengo, Jade Stighling, Burger Odendaal, JT Jackson, Adrian Maebane, Johnny Kotze, Dries Swanepoel, Franco Naude, Joshua Stander, Tinus de Beer, Tony Jantjies, Andre Warner, Ivan van Zyl, Piet van Zyl, Rudy Paige, Theo Maree.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 25 August 2017
Pumas v Blue Bulls 17h00 Nelspruit
Sat, 26 August 2017
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Dunedin
Western Province v Sharks 13h00 Newlands
Free State Cheetahs v Golden Lions 15h15 Bloemfontein
Argentina v South Africa 17h30 Padre Ernesto Martearena Stadium
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 5 4 0 1 21
Sharks 5 4 0 1 20
Western Province 5 3 0 2 16
Blue Bulls 5 2 0 3 14
Griquas 6 2 0 4 14
Pumas 5 2 0 3 10
Golden Lions 5 1 0 4 9