Utility back JJ Engelbrecht will make his Vodacom Blue Bulls debut on Saturday when the team plays Western Province in an Absa Currie Cup match at Newlands in Cape Town.
Official Blue Bulls Media Release
Engelbrecht has been released from the Springbok squad that will travel to Australasia for The Castle Rugby Championship and could be considered for the Newlands clash, the same venue where he made his test debut for the Springboks against Argentina.
Having played in 27 matches for WP earlier in his career, Engelbrecht knows Newlands well.
He will play on the wing, where he replaces Clayton Blommetjies, who slots in at fullback.
Blommetjies takes over from Jürgen Visser, who moves to the bench in place of Ulrich Beyers.
Up front, coach Pine Pienaar made one forced change, with Warwick Tecklenburg replacing the injured Arno Botha. “We got good momentum out of the Sharks game and dare not to lose that again,” Pienaar said.
“There are few challenges as huge as beating WP at Newlands, but one that we want to embrace. Last week our preparations were severely disrupted due to the flu virus, but this time we have trained well and worked hard. I am confident that we will travel down to Cape Town well prepared.”
Pienaar was keen to have Engelbrecht in the team.
“I was very happy to hear that I could select him. He has shown what a great player he is already and I am looking forward to his contributions to the Blue Bulls as well.”
Dewald Potgieter will captain the side in his 50th Currie Cup appearance for the Vodacom Blue Bulls.
“Personally it is a nice milestone, but collectively it will only mean something if the team can deliver on Saturday and come up with a good performance,” Potgieter said.
“We need to maintain the standards set last week and try to improve on those. That will be the main focus for us.”
The Vodacom Blue Bulls team is:
Team: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 JJ Engelbrecht, 10 Louis Fouchè, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Dewald Potgieter (Captain), 7 CJ Stander, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Dawie Steyn.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Cornell Hess, 19 Warwick Tecklenburg, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Lionel Cronje, 22 Jürgen Visser.