The Vodacom Bulls under-19 side will have the opportunity to etch their name on the history books when they run for the final of the 2023 SA Rugby under-19 Cup, on Saturday 10 June 2023. The young Tshwane-based outfit will take on the Cell C Sharks of Durban for the honours of South Africa’s premier junior cup competition.
Kick-off is set for 12h00pm, at Loftus Versfeld, ahead of the senior men who will take on the Toyota Cheetahs in a crunch match for a playoff spot in the Currie Cup.
Edgar Marutlulle, the head coach of the young herd has only made two notable changes to the side that will go for what will be a historic triumph, should his side compel the three in a row. Duncan Blignaut replaces Ben Heydenrych who misses due to HIA protocols having taken a knock during the semi-final against the Cheetahs. Mile Mantinisi replaces injured Philip-Albert van Niekerk who also sustained an injury during the battle for a place in the final.
Elsewhere, the side remains unchanged as the Vodacom Bulls junior side will take to the field looking for a three-peat.
Speaking about the changes, Marutluelle said: “Duncan (Blignaut) is a local Tuks lad who has been growing with us every week and continues to improve more and more each week he has spent with us. We do think he can genuinely step up to bring it in this final,”
“Mihle is a UJ product and he made his debut for us the week before in the semi-final, scoring on debut, which was great for him because he has waited a little while to get the opportunity to prove himself and he continues to show the eagerness that he can continue to deliver.”
VODACOM BULLS UNDER-19 VS CELL C SHARKS: 1. Mbasa Maqubela, 2. Juan Smal, 3. Casper Badenhorst, 4. Duncan Blignaut, 5. Keanu Coetsee, 6. Lukas Meyer (c), 7. Lilitha Matsiliza, 8. Liselihle Maphekula, 9. Steven Nel, 10. Jayden Bantom, 11. Michail Damon, 12. Mile Mantinisi, 13. Kobus Janse van Rensburg, 14. Alfondso Isaacs, 15. JL Van Rensburg
VODACOM BULLS UNDER-19 IMPACT SQUAD: 16. Juanre Breitenbach, 17. Jean Fourie, 18. Kaleb Kriek, 19. Nokutenda Mapungwana, 20. Abel Pretorius, 21. Caleb Abrahams, 22. Logan Opperman, 23. Andile Myeni
VODACOM BULLS UNDER-19 MANAGEMENT: Edgar Marutlulle – Head Coach; Wessel Du Plessis – General Attack, Exits and Kicking Coach, Ofentse Moeng – Launches & Backline Coach, Limbi Seyani – Sport Scientist & Strength and Conditioning; Dr. Gerhard Louwrens – Team Doctor; Claudette Eckard – Senior Physiotherapist, Darryn Berry – Physiotherapist; Prieur Le Grange – Technical Analyst & Team Manager; Tshepo Mashigo – Logistics Manager