Marais names Blue Bulls squad to face Free State in Currie Cup final

Marais names Blue Bulls squad to face Free State in Currie Cup final

Jason Jenkins will start at lock for the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Saturday’s Currie Cup final against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Nollis Marais Blue Bulls Currie Cup final
Photo: Trevor Cramer

Jenkins replaces the injured RG Snyman in the only change to the starting team that edged DHL Western Province in the semifinal last week.

His place on the bench will be taken by Nic de Jager.

Ulrich Beyers also recovered in time from his shoulder knock and has been declared fit to start at fullback. Piet van Zyl replaces Ivan van Zyl as back-up scrumhalf, having recovered from concussion.

Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais confirmed the team’s determination to bring the Currie Cup back to Pretoria for the first time since 2009, but admitted that it will take a massive effort against the high-flying hosts.

“Let me make it clear, we back ourselves to win. The reality of the matter though is that we are facing a team that is undefeated and playing great rugby. And they play in front of a packed stadium with supporters. So it is not going to be easy, but we have to do it the hard way, which is great.” 

Marais points to the fact that they were outplayed when they travelled to Bloemfontein earlier in the season, but since then the Blue Bulls gained significant momentum.

“No doubt, we have improved a lot since that day and that is a good thing. We have nice form, but as you know, finals rugby is all about what you deliver on the day.” 

Vodacom Blue Bulls captain Arno Botha feels the same.

“It is going to be a very simple equation. The team who plays best during that 80 minutes will win the match and the Currie Cup. We both start at 0-0, so it is up to us to deliver. Yes, it will be tough playing in front of the Cheetahs fans, but they deserved the right to host the final.”

The loose forward expects a tight match.

“South African derbies tend to be tough and uncompromising and seeing that we are playing for the ultimate prize in domestic rugby, this one will be even more so. We are determined though to reward our hard work during the season and to reward our fans with a performance we all can be proud of.” 

The team is: 

Ulrich Beyers

Travis Ismaiel

Dries Swanepoel

Burger Odendaal

Jamba Ulengo

Tian Schoeman

Rudy Paige

Arno Botha (c)

Jannes Kirsten

Roelof Smit

Marvin Orie

Jason Jenkins

Jacobie Adriaanse

Jaco Visagie

Lizo Gqoboka


Bandise Maku

Martin Dreyer

Pierre Schoeman

Nic de Jager

Hanro Liebenberg

Piet van Zyl

Joshua Stander

Bjorn Basson

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