Lizo Gqoboka comes in for Dayan van der Westhuizen, who reverts to the bench, in the Blue Bulls front row. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

PRETORIA – Springbok prop Lizo Gqoboka will make a return to the Blue Bulls team when they face the Sharks in a crunch Currie Cup clash at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

Gqoboka has been released from the Springbok squad for the match – and it’s a game the home side must win to make the playoffs of the Currie Cup.

Marco van Staden, who like Gqoboka played against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld last weekend, returns to the team as well, while coach Pote Human kept faith with the remainder of the squad that won in Johannesburg two weeks ago.

Gqoboka comes in for Dayan van der Westhuizen, who reverts to the bench, where several changes were made.

Corniel Els makes a first appearance for the squad as a back-up hooker, while Ruan Steenkamp is fit again and will play off the bench.

Human also handed a potential debut to Junior Springbok Vaughen Isaacs, who replaces Marnitz Boshoff as back-up flyhalf.

“We know what we need to do, so our options are clear,” Human said.

“We need to beat the Sharks by 12 points, with a bonus point, and make sure they don’t get a bonus point.

“The job at hand cannot be clearer than that. So, this is a quarter-final match for us, if you like,” the coach said.

Ivan van Zyl will again lead the team, and the scrumhalf indicated that the squad still has some rugby left to play.

“We are pretty determined to still be playing in three weeks, come the final of the Currie Cup.

“Everyone is on the same page with the same mindset. We have the quality in the squad to do this, we need to go out and prove that.”

Blue Bulls Team

15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Dylan Sage, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Ivan van Zyl (captain), 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Wian Vosloo, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortjé, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.

Replacements: 16 Corné Els, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Vaughen Isaacs, 23 Stedman Gans.

African News Agency (ANA)