Stegmann back to lead Blue Bulls in Currie Cup

The Blue Bulls have named their team to play the Free State Cheetahs in the Currie Cup in Bloemfontein on Friday with regular captain and flank Deon Stegmann returning to the starting line up.

Stegmann missed last weekend’s defeat to the Sharks due to suspension, but will again wear the number six jersey and captain’s armband in place of Wian Liebenberg and Jono Ross respectively.

Liebenberg moves to the bench in one of six changes to the starting team.

At the back, Ulrich Beyers replace Jesse Kriel who moves to the bench, stalwart Akona Ndungane is back at right wing, with Sampie Mastriet moving to left wing in place of Bjorn Basson. In the midfield, JJ Engelbrecht replaces injured William Small-Smith and Piet van Zyl rotate with Rudy Paige, with the latter starting off the bench.

In the other change in the pack, Bongi Mbonambi will start, with Callie Visagie on the bench.

According to Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke this match is the most crucial one of the Currie Cup campaign.

“We cannot afford to lose and even a good win might not be good enough. We managed to get back on track earlier in the season, but again allowed ourselves to be side-tracked. We cannot afford it to happen again,” Ludeke said.

Stegmann concurred. “We owe it to ourselves, the coaches and the supporters out there to deliver a quality performance. We have let ourselves down too many times this season. We must now run our own race and finish strong. We still have something to play for and we must use the opportunity.”

Blue Bulls

15 Ulrich Beyers,14 Akona Ndungane,13 JJ Engelbrecht,12 Burger Odendaal ,11 Sampie Mastriet ,10 Jacques Louis Potgieter ,9 Piet van Zyl ,8 Jono Ross ,7 Jacques du Plessis ,6 Deon Stegmann (c) ,5 Grant Hattingh ,4 Paul Willemse ,3 Werner Kruger,2 Bongi Mbonambi,1 Dean Greyling

Replacements:16 Callie Visagie,17 Morné Mellet,18 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg,19 Wiaan Liebenberg ,20 Rudy Paige,21 Tian Schoeman,22 Jesse Kriel

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