Beyers back for Vodacom Blue Bulls
Utility back Ulrich Beyers will make a welcome return to the Vodacom Blue Bulls on Saturday when the Pretoria side takes on Toyota Free State in a Currie Cup clash in Bloemfontein.
Beyers last played for the Blue Bulls in 2014, before overseas stints with Bordeaux in France and Zebre in Italy.
He will play at fullback in one of two enforced backline changes made by Vodacom Blue Bulls coach, Nollis Marais.
Bjorn Basson, who started at fullback against the DHL Western Province in last weekend's opening tournament win, moves to wing in place of injured Jade Stighling, allowing Beyers to again wear his old jersey.
Dan Kriel is also starting in place of injured Dries Swanepoel.
Kriel's spot on the bench will be taken by Duncan Matthews. In other changes on the bench, Edgar Marutlulle comes in for Bandise Maku in what will be a first appearance for the hooker in blue, while Martin Dreyer and RG Snyman comes in for Nqoba Mxoli and Eli Snyman respectively. In another change, Joshua Stander will warm the bench as back-up flyhalf in place of Tony Jantjies.
Marais said the good performance delivered by his team last weekend against WP will mean nothing if the momentum cannot be maintained.
"We did well, especially in the first half against WP, but we cannot rest on our laurels. The Free State Cheetahs is packed with quality players all around their team and they will ask serious questions of our temperament and commitment, especially as it is their first home match in the Currie Cup. We need to be switched on for this one."
Vodacom Blue Bulls captain, Arno Botha, said they need to maintain an 80 minute effort.
"We stopped playing in that second half against WP and it almost destroyed the good work we did in the first half. We will have to play at our best all of the match if we want to leave Bloemfontein with points. The Cheetahs can punish you from anywhere on the field, so we need to really work hard on defence and use our chances on attack.”
The team is: Ulrich Beyers, Bjorn Basson, Dan Kriel, Burger Odendaal, Jamba Ulengo, Tian Schoeman, Piet van Zyl, Arno Botha (c), Jannes Kirsten, Ruan Steenkamp, Marvin Orie, Jason Jenkins, Entienne Swanepoel, Jaco Visagie, Pierre Schoeman. Replacements: Edgar Marutlulle, Martin Dreyer, RG Snyman, Hanro Liebenberg, Andre Warner, Joshua Stander, Duncan Matthews.
Duncan Matthews, Edgar Marutlulle and Martin Dreyer will make their Currie Cup Premier Division debut for the Vodacom Blue Bulls if they take to the field on Saturday.