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Springbok loose-forward, Arno Botha, will make a return to the Vodacom Bulls starting XV when the side takes on Tafel Lager Griquas in a Carling Currie Cup Round 9 fixture at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday.

Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, has made a handful of the changes to the team that was in action against the Cell C Sharks on Friday.

Botha is one of two changes to the forwards pack, where he replaces Muller Uys at blindside flank. Gerhard Steenekamp’s inclusion in the front row, where he takes the place of Lizo Gqoboka at loosehead prop, is the only other change to the front eight.

Lionel Mapoe makes a return to the side where he will feature at outside centre, alongside No.12 Harold Vorster, with Cornal Hendricks making a shift to the right wing. Kurt-Lee Arendse will add fire power on the other wing as he replaces Stedman Gans, who will provide cover from the bench this week.

White said ahead of the game: “We are on the back of a disappointing result against a strong Cell C Sharks side, and now we will face an equally committed and dangerous Tafel Lager Griquas team. The side from Kimberley has proven that they are a strong competitor in this Carling Currie Cup competition.

“It’s a short turnaround time for us, and we have had a few areas we have had to work on in the past few days to ensure that we can be competitive and bounce back this week. We do hope that the changes we have made will yield positive results, and that we can be able to play our best rugby again on Wednesday.”

The clash against Tafel Lager Griquas will kick off at 16h45, and will be televised on SuperSport.

The Vodacom Bulls team is:

STARTERS:
15. David Kriel (Betway Centurion)
14. Cornal Hendricks (Northam)
13. Lionel Mapoe (Pretoria)
12. Harold Vorster (Northam)
11. Kurt-Lee Arendse (Betway Centurion)
10. Johan Goosen (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
9. Zak Burger (Tuine)
8. Elrigh Louw (FNB Tuks)
7. Arno Botha (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
6. Marcell Coetzee (ABE Midas Naka Bulle) – Captain
5. Ruan Nortje (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
4. Walt Steenkamp (Betway Centurion)
3. Mornay Smith (Betway Centurion)
2. Schalk Erasmus (Tuine)
1. Gerhard Steenekamp (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)

IMPACT:
16. Jan-Hendrik Wessels (U20)
17. Simphiwe Matanzima (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
18. Jacques van Rooyen (Tuine)
19. Janko Swanepoel (Pretoria)
20. Jacques du Plessis (FNB Tuks)
21. Keagan Johannes (FNB Tuks)
22. Chris Smith (Harlequins)
23. Stedman Gans (Northam)
24. Joe van Zyl (Harlequins)
25. Muller Uys (FNB Tuks)
26. WJ Steenkamp (Tuine)
27. Marco Jansen van Vuren (Pretoria)
28. Richard Kriel (Tuine)

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