Johannesburg – Dewald Potgieter will lead the Blue Bulls in their Currie Cup opener against Griquas at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
The versatile loose forward, who is equally adapt with the numbers six and seven on his back, has captained the Blue Bulls before and will play at number 8 and in his 54th match at this level.
Potgieter will have a number of rookies behind him though, with coach Pine Pienaar forced to pick numerous youngsters due to injuries and national call-ups.
Ulrich Beyers, Clayton Blommetjies and Cornell Hess will all start in their first Currie Cup match, while Robbie Coetzee, Grant Hattingh and Jan Serfontein will do so if they are called off the bench.
Pienaar admits to a tough task at hand against Griquas, who have a much more settled look to their squad.
“Griquas have been together now for seven months and get players like Justin Downey and Willie le Roux back from Super Rugby. Add the two former Blue Bulls, Stefan Watermeyer and JP Nel in their midfield, and it becomes clear that we will have to play well if we want the result,” Pienaar said.
“These players have all shown the appetite to embrace challenges in the past, so I am expecting the same attitude again from them,” Pienaar added.
The Blue Bulls team to play Griquas is: Jürgen Visser, Akona
Ndungane, Ulrich Beyers, Francois Venter, Clayton Blommetjies, Louis Fouchè, Ruan Snyman, Dewald Potgieter (c), Arno Botha, Deon Stegmann, Cornell Hess, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Frik Kirsten, Willie Wepener, Dawie Steyn. Replacements: Robbie Coetzee, Werner Kruger, Grant Hattingh, CJ Stander, Lohan Jacobs, Lionel Cronjè, Jan Serfontein. – Sapa