Pretoria - The Springbok quartet of Trevor Nyakane, Marco van Staden, Ivan van Zyl and Embrose Papier have been included in the Blue Bulls’ match-day squad to face Western Province in a Currie Cup clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Nyakane and Van Zyl did make earlier appearances in the competition, but it will be a first show for Van Staden and Papier in the 2018 competition.
In fact, Papier - who was named on the bench and will replace Van Zyl during the match - will make his debut for the Blue Bulls in this highly anticipated clash against the log leaders and defending champions.
“We certainly have everything to play for and need all capable hands on deck, so the availability of the four players are very welcome,” said Blue Bulls coach Pote Human.
“We are facing a formidable WP side who will also have some Springboks back. They are already in the semi-finals, so they will play without fear and that will make them a very dangerous opponent. They are a very skilful team with lots of game breakers and our defence will be tested.”
The return of Van Staden will be crucial in this regard and Blue Bulls captain, Hanro Liebenberg, said forward dominance will be an important factor in the clash.
“We will have to dictate the style of play and tempo if we want to be successful. They are quite adept on the counter, so ball possession will be key if we want to secure the win we need to confirm a semi-final spot. It is nice to have those four players back and we will be looking at them to provide momentum and confidence.”
Liebenberg made a call to the Loftus faithful to support the team.
“We play for our supporters just as much as we play for ourselves, so it will be great if they arrive in big numbers to support us.”
Kick-off is at 17:15 on Saturday.
15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Franco Naude, 11 Jade Stighling, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (captain), 7 Marco van Staden, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Hendre Stassen, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Matthys Basson
Substitutes: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 Ruan Nortje, 19 Nic de Jager, 20 Embrose Papier, 21 Tinus de Beer, 22 Dylan Sage
15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 SP Marais, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Substitutes: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Josh Stander