Embrose Papier starts as Jake White rings the changes for Bulls against Cardiff
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Cape Town – Embrose Papier will make his long-awaited comeback from injury as Bulls coach Jake White made several changes on Friday for their United Rugby Championship clash against Cardiff Blues.
Springbok half halfback Papier is finally 100 percent again after a long-term ankle injury, and will start at scrumhalf alongside Johan Goosen, with the backline being refreshed from the one that began in the 34-7 loss to Connacht last week.
David Kriel and Madosh Tambwe return at fullback and right wing respectively, while left wing Kurt-Lee Arendse will also hope to bring his special skill-set to the fore at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday night (8.35pm SA time kickoff).
Cornal Hendricks has been moved from wing to outside centre in place of Lionel Mapoe, with Stedman Gans missing out on the match-23 entirely.
Papier replaces Zak Burger at No 9, while Jacques du Plessis gets his first start at blindside flank since rejoining the Currie Cup champions.
Young lock Janko Swanepoel gets another go at No 4 lock, with Walt Steenkamp shifting to the bench, while veteran hooker Bismarck du Plessis is joined by Simphiwe Matanzima in the front row.
“We are making some changes to our match-day squad this week to ensure that we utilise our squad depth while giving fair opportunity to the players to get a feel of this competitive tournament,” White said on Friday.
“Cardiff has shown good form so far this season in their win over Connacht at home, and, despite their narrow defeat, last week in the Welsh derby against Ospreys. We expect them to come out guns blazing, and we have no doubt that they will be a tough side to face.”
15 David Kriel 14 Madosh Tambwe 13 Cornal Hendricks 12 Harold Vorster 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse 10 Johan Goosen 9 Embrose Papier 8 Elrigh Louw 7 Jacques du Plessis 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain) 5 Ruan Nortjé 4 Janko Swanepoel 3 Jacques van Rooyen 2 Bismarck du Plessis 1 Simphiwe Matanzima.
Bench: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels 17 Lizo Gqoboka 18 Robert Hunt 19 Walt Steenkamp 20 Arno Botha 21 Keagan Johannes 22 Chris Smith 23 Lionel Mapoe.