Botha leads Vodacom Blue Bulls in Valke friendly
Vodacom Blue Bulls coach, Pote Human, named a number of experienced stalwarts, including Springboks Arno Botha and Rudy Paige, in his squad to take on Hino Valke in a friendly match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Friday. Botha will lead the squad as they prepare for the SuperSport Rugby Challenge, the new provincial competition to kick-off next month.
Paige, Dries Swanepoel, Nic de Jager and Jaco Visagie all played for the Vodacom Bulls against the Toyota Cheetahs two weeks ago, but they are not in the squad to play the Sunwolves on Friday and Human had little hesitation to pick them for this match to be played as a curtain-raiser to the big game.
Flyhalf Francois Brummer is another who played Vodacom Super Rugby last year while Duncan Matthews, Jade Stighling, JT Jackson, Martin Dreyer and John-Roy Jenkinson played for the senior team last year. DHL Stormers recruit, Johnny Kotze, is amongst the reserves.
Ryno Pieterse, who was still at school at Garsfontein last year, will rub shoulders with senior players after being named at lock.
The squad is: 15. Duncan Matthews, 14. Jade Stighling, 13. Dries Swanepoel, 12. JT Jackson, 11. Kafentse Mahlo, 10. Francois Brummer, 9. Rudy Paige, 8. Arno Botha (c), 7. Nic de Jager, 6. Freddy Ngoza, 5. Abongile Nonkontwana, 4. Ryno Pieterse, 3. John-Roy Jenkinson, 2. Jaco Visagie, 1. Njabulo Gumede. Replacements (from): 16. Madot Mabokela, 17. Alandre van Rooyen, 18. Martin Dreyer, 19. Simphiwe Matanzima, 20. Rickert Korff, 21. Luigy van Jaarsveld, 22. Jason Olivier, 23. Tony Jantjies, 24. Franco Naude, 25. Johnny Kotze, 26. Marquit September.