Boshoff runs out for the Bulls
CURRIE CUP TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Marnitz Boshoff, who joined the Blue Bulls from Connacht, has been named on the Bulls' bench for the trip to take on the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday.
Boshoff along with the newly recruited Johnny Kotze could be making their first appearances for the Pretoria-based side, should they be needed during the match.
They will be led by Nick de Jager as new coach John Mitchell opted for a regular face to replace the injured Burger Odendaal.
Odendaal suffered a knee injury during the Blue Bulls' 40-41 defeat to the Free State Cheetahs, which subsequently saw Nollis Marais being placed on "leave" for the remainder of the year.
Johannes Prinsloo started the season as captain but his appearances have been inconsistent due to injury. Mitchell felt that De Jager was the best bet to lead the side as he has been a constant presence in the team throughout the campaign.
Prinsloo is fit again and will start in the No.6 jersey in place of Shaun Adendorff, who replaced Prinsloo in the starting lineup against the Free State Cheetahs. Adendorff is out injured and will miss the match.
Mitchell has handed first starts to the season to prop Lizo Gqoboka and midfielder John Thomas Jackson in a number of changes to the team. Gqoboka was released by the Springboks and will start in place of Pierre Schoeman, while Jackson moves from the bench in place of injured Odendaal.
Jannes Kirsten is also back to full fitness and comes back in the No.7 jersey, while Abongile Nonkontwana - who played in that position against the Cheetahs - moves to lock in place of injured Irné Herbst.
At scrumhalf Andre Warner will start, with Piet van Zyl playing off the bench in Nelspruit. Edgar Marutlulle is another new face on the bench and replaces Johan Grobbelaar.
"We have started a process to take responsibility and ownership of performances and to take the Blue Bulls back to respected levels of competitiveness. We have a long way to go, but there will be no excuses. Hard work will be one of the main aspects behind this drive, but after three losses, we will also have to find the desire to win again," Mitchell said.
Captain, De Jager admits that the Pumas will be a tough nut to crack.
"Credit to them, they were really good against Griquas last weekend and came away with a very good win in Kimberley. That win will boost their confidence and they are not an easy team to beat in Nelspruit. We will have to play to our full potential for the 80 minutes if we want to come away with a result," De Jager said.
Blue Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 John Thomas Jackson, 11 Kefentse Mahlo, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Nick de Jager (captain), 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Abongile Nonkontwana, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Jan-Henning Campher, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 Clyde Davids, 19 Jano Venter, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Marnitz Boshoff, 22 Johnny Kotze.
Date: Friday, August 25
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Paul Mente, Des van Wyk
TMO: Willie Vos