Basson returns for Bulls
Springbok wing Bjorn Basson returns to the Blue Bulls starting XV for Friday's clash with the Sharks in Pretoria.
Basson, who scored two tries in his only appearance for the Blue Bulls in the competition this year, has been released by the Boks ahead of their Test against New Zealand in Johannesburg.
He comes in for Sampie Mastriet, who drops down to the bench while Clayton Blommetjies misses out on selection.
Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar also made two changes to his front row for this crucial clash against the table-toppers.
Bongi Mbonambi will start at hooker and Frik Kirsten, who recovered from a knee injury, will play as tighthead. They replace Bandise Maku and Werner Kruger who started against Griquas last weekend.
Pienaar was quite pleased to have Basson back again, but warned that only a total team effort will help them secure a much-needed victory.
"We are with our backs to the wall," he said.
Last weekend in Kimberley was an important one for us, as it rewarded our good defensive efforts, while it gave confidence to our attack.
"We will need both those aspects to function again if we want to be competitive against the Sharks."
Blue Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Jono Ross (c), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Marcel van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Dean Greyling, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 Ulrich Beyers, 22 Sampie Mastriet.
Date: Friday, October 4
Kick-off: 19:10 local
Venue: Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria