Vodacom Blue Bulls U21 head coach, Hayden Groepes, has stuck to his rotation and has recalled several players to the starting line-up that will face the Cell C Sharks U21 at Emirates Airline Park on Sunday, 18 October 2020.

The backline shuffle includes Richard Kriel (fullback), Sebastiaan Jobb (left wing), Diego Appollis (outside centre) and Bernard van der Linde (scrumhalf) with a positional change with Stravino Jacobs shifting to the right wing.

Amongst the forwards, Jaco Labuschagne returns to openside flank and resumes the captaincy with Divan Venter slotting in at the back of the scrum alongside Keenan Opperman who retains the blindside jersey.

The tight five remain unchanged.

A team can only be as strong as its finishers with Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Nolan Pienaar and Hendri du Toit beefing up the forward replacements.

Meanwhile, Ross Braude, Ruben Beytell and Marnus Potgieter will add much needed firepower to the backs when called upon.

“We want to front up physically against the Sharks and this team brings that to the table. We need to establish a solid foundation from the first kick-off and not look back until the final 80 minutes is done as we have a realistic opportunity to defend this title and that is objective number one,” said Gropes.

Kick-off is 10:30.

Vodacom Blue Bulls U21: 15. Richard Kriel, 14. Stravino Jacobs, 13. Diego Appollis, 12. Jay-Cee Nel, 11. Sebastiaan Jobb, 10. David Coetzer, 9. Bernard van der Linde, 8. Divan Venter, 7. Keenan Opperman, 6. Jaco Labuschagne (C), 5. Janko Swanepoel, 4. Jordan van Dyk, 3. Eduan Swart, 2. Janco Uys, 1. Kudzwai Dube.

Replacements: 16. Keano Hendricks, 17. Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 18. Nolan Pienaar, 19. Uzile Tele, 20. Hendrik du Toit, 21. Ross Braude, 22. Ruben Beytell, 23. Marnus Potgieter.

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