Blue Bulls start Boks against Cheetahs in Currie Cup

Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais named Springbok prop Marcel van der Merwe in
his starting front-row and added Springbok midfielder Jan Serfontein to his
bench for Friday’s Currie Cup match against Free State Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld.

Marais also has Francois Hougaard back in the starting team after the scrumhalf
missed last week’s win over Griquas due to personal reasons. He replaces Ivan
van Zyl who moves back to the bench.

Hougaard’s return is the only change in the backline, but Marais made three
changes in the pack.

Van der Merwe comes in for Werner Kruger, who is rested and a fit-again Roelof
Smit comes in for Jannes Kirsten at flank, with the latter moving to the bench.
In the other change, Dean Greyling will be replaced Pierre Schoeman. Greyling
has a knee strain and with Schoeman fit and ready to go following a long injury
lay-off, Marais decided to give Greyling a break.

Under-21 regular Schoeman will make his debut in the competition, but has played
for the Blue Bulls in the Cup.

Serfontein comes in for Dan Kriel, who will return to the Under-21 team.

“Jan will certainly add some class to our backline. He is in need of game
time and there is no need to rush him back, so he will contribute off the bench, ”
Marais said.

Blue Bulls captain, LappiesLabuschagne, is happy to have the Springboks
back in the team.

“Both Marcel and Jan were very unlucky to miss out on a World Cup spot,
so we are very pleased that they are back to play for us. They will be keen
to show why they should have been in the squad and that motivation will spur
us on. The Cheetahs are dangerous and have their tails up, so we will need to
be sharp on Friday. “

Meanwhile the Blue Bulls have released Flip van der Merwe from his contract
to join French club Clermont.

Blue Bulls

Warrick Gelant, Travis Ismaiel, Dries Swanepoel, Burger Odendaal, Jamba Ulengo,
Tian Schoeman, Francois Hougaard,Arno Botha, Roelof Smit, Lappies Labuschagne
(c), Marvin Orie, Jacques du Plessis, Marcel van der Merwe, Bandise Maku, Pierre

Replacements: Jaco Visagie, Dayan van der Westhuizen, RG Snyman, Jannes
Kirsten, Ivan van Zyl, Louis Fouche, Jan Serfontein.

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