Young Bulls to set Limpopo alight
The Blue Bulls have named a young and impressive side to face their Limpopo Blue Bulls counterparts in a friendly game in Polokwane on Saturday.
And in it they have possibly the most exciting young backline in South Africa, ready to showcase their skills and yearning for more game time at this level.
The team named is a virtual Vodacom Cup team, but features SA Schools and SA under-20 flyhalf Handre Pollard, while outside him the Grey College duo of Jan Serfontein and Dries Swanepoel are reunited for the first time since schooldays.
Swanepoel, who formed a highly successful midfield duo at schools level, was injured and missed out on the IRB Junior World Championship – ironically where Serfontein went on to be named IRB Junior Player of the year.
But since recovering, Swanepoel has been in blistering form and was easily the standout player in the SA under-20s series of warm-up matches last month.
Both are touted for future greatness and while not playing for the Super Rugby team this weekend, both have the opportunity to gain more game time and push for a place at senior level.
While utility back Ulrich Beyers, who made his name at Currie Cup level last year, is at fullback, the Bulls are not lacking in skills, as Bok Sevens flyer Sampie Mastriet and SA under-20 winger Travis Ismael round off the backline with Rudy Paige the link between the forwards and backs.
Up front former Lions lock Paul Willemse and the impressive Jacques du Plessis are named in a pack that is led by Cornell Hess.
Limpopo Blue Bulls will feature for the first time in the Vodacom Cup this year as a fully-fledged provincial outfit.
Vodacom Blue Bulls:15. Ulrich Beyers,14. Travis Ismaiel, 13. Dries Swanepoel,12. Jan Serfontein, 11.Sampie Mastriet,10. Handrè Pollard, 9. Rudi Paige, 8.Nardus van der Walt, 7. Jacques du Plessis, 6. Roelof Smit, 5. Cornell Hess ,4. Paul Willemse ,3. Stephanus Pretorius, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 1. Justin Forwood.
Replacements: 16. Jason Thomas, 17. Gerhard Engelbrecht, 18. Andrew Beerwinkel, 19. Qubeko Zulu, 20. Christian de Bruin, 21. Jacques Verwey, 22. Willie du Plessis, 23. Piet Lindeque, 24. Damian van Wyk, 25 .Jesse Kriel, 26. Ruan Snyman.