Basson back for Blue Bulls
The return of Currie Cup record try scorer Bjorn Basson will boost the Blue Bulls ahead of their away match against the Golden Lions on Saturday.
Basson, who holds the record for most Currie Cup tries in a term, has been released by the Boks and will start on the wing, replacing Sampie Mastriet.
It is one of four changes to the backline. Clayton Blommetjies rotates with Jurgen Visser at full-back for his first start of the season, while Ulrich Beyers is fit again and will start ahead of Waylon Murray. At fly-half, Tony Jantjies replaces injured Handrè Pollard.
Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar also recalled his most experienced lock, Wilhelm Steenkamp to the starting pack and a fit-again Werner Kruger will start at tighthead, with Frik Kirsten on the bench. Bandise Maku also makes a first start this season.
Regular Blue Bulls U21 hooker, Jaco Visagie, has been included on the bench and could make his debut if called upon.
Pienaar admitted that his side is approaching this match as a play-off.
"We have to. If we lose, it will become very, very difficult to make the top four, it is as simple as that. We know we are a better team than this, but we need to prove it to ourselves and our fans. So this is a make or break weekend for us," he told the Bulls website.
Blue Bulls: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Jono Ross (capt), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Morné Mellett.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 William Small-Smith, 22 Jurgen Visser.
Date: Saturday, September 21
Kick-off: 17:05 local (16:05 BST, 15:05 GMT)
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: Ben Crouse, Cobus Wessels
Television match official: Tappe Henning