Wiehahn Herbst of the Bulls during the 2019 Super Rugby match against the Crusaders in May. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

PRETORIA – Prop Wiehahn Herbst will start at prop and flanker Marco van Staden will play off the bench for the Blue Bulls take in their Currie Cup match against the Free State Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld, in Pretoria, on Friday night.

Both players will make a first appearance in the Currie Cup for coach Pote Human in round two of the tournament.

Herbst was a late withdrawal and missed the opening match against Western Province last week due to the birth of his child, while Van Staden was part of the Springbok squad preparing for the Rugby Championship match against Australia and has been released for this clash.

Herbst takes over from Conraad van Vuuren and Van Staden takes the place on the bench of Roelof Smit.

Smit will start the match in place of injured Wihan Vosloo.

Lock Andries Ferreira will also make a first start for the Bulls against a former province of his, replacing Lood de Jager, who has been recalled to the Springbok squad to face the Wallabies.

Human said the team will have the opportunity to not only redeem themselves following last weekend’s defeat to Western Province, but can do so in front of the Loftus faithful.

Manie Libbok will start in the No 10 jersey against the Cheetahs. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix
Manie Libbok will start in the No 10 jersey against the Cheetahs. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

“We need to be at our best. The Toyota Cheetahs will be well-rested and have some really good players available,” said Human.

“They will be very keen to get their season starting. We have to start well, keep playing well and finish well in this one. We created some chances last week, but with some of our phases not functioning as it should have, we never really managed to force dominance. That needs to change this weekend.”

Bulls captain, Burger Odendaal, said the focus will be on themselves, rather than the opponent.

“We spoke about the errors made last weekend and how to make them right. We all agreed on how to do that, so it is now a matter of going out there and execute the type of game we know we can play.”

Kick-off is at 19h15. The referee for the clash is Marius van der Westhuizen.

The Blue Bulls team: 

15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Roelof Smit, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Andries Ferreira, 4 Ruan Nortje, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima.

Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Dylan Sage. 

African News Agency (ANA)