Fit-again Paul Willemse has been included in the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under-21 team to play the Leopards in Potchefstroom on Friday.
The Vodacom Bulls and former Junior Springboks lock has recovered from a knee injury and will boost his side for their opening Absa Currie Under-21 Provincial Championship match of the season.
The Blue Bulls are the defending champions and boast a number of players who helped them to the title in 2012, including Travis Ismaiel (wing), Tony Jantjies (flyhalf), Shaun Adendorff (flank), Schalk van Heerden (lock) and Jason Thomas (hooker).
Dries Swanepoel, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Roelof Smit and Irnè Herbst recently won the bronze medal in the IRB Junior World Championship in France with the Junior Springboks.
Another Junior Bok Handrè Pollard was not considered due to a shoulder injury. He will be out of action for at least another six weeks.
The team to play the Leopards at 17h00 is:
Jacques Rossouw, Jade Stighling, Dries Swanepoel, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Travis Ismaiel, Tony Jantjies (v/c), Rudi van Rooyen, Clyde Davids, Roelof Smit, Shaun Adendorff, Schalk van Heerden, Paul Willemse, Christoph Gouws, Jaco Visagie, Neethling Fouchè. Replacements: Jason Thomas, Justin Forwood, Irne Herbst, Ferdi Horn, Kefentse Mahlo, Malcolm Theo, Jermaine Kleinsmith.
Kriel to lead Under-19’s
Junior Springboks utility back Jesse Kriel will lead the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under-19 team in their season opener against the Leopards in Potchefstroom on Friday. Vice-captain Pierre Schoeman (prop) played for the team last year as well.
The team to play the Leopards at 15h00 in Potchefstroom is: Jessie Kriel (c), Keagan Gordon, Daniel Kriel, Leighton van Wyk, Duncan Matthews, Kobus Marais, JP Smith, Corne Cooper, Chris Massyn, Heinrich Viljoen, Jan Janse van Rensburg, Bobby de Wee, Wilco Louw, Corniel Els, Pierre Schoeman (v/c). Replacements: Arno van Wyk, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Justin Basson, Carel Swart, Kobus Wolmerans, Ganfried May, Marcus Kleinbooi, Piet-Louw Strauss.