Akona Ndungane And Bjorn Basson Fit To Face EP Kings

Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke recalled Springbok wingers Akona Ndungane and Bjorn Basson to his team to face the EP Kings in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday.  They replace Sampie Mastriet and Jamba Ulengo from the starting team against the Xerox Golden Lions a week ago and are two of three changes to the backline for the East Coast clash.  In another rotational move, Piet Van Zyl will start at scrumhalf, with Rudy Paige moving to the bench.

Ludeke selected the same starting pack that excelled against the Golden Lions.  He did tweak his bench though with William Small-Smith (for Ryan Nell) coming back to the team as replacement. Bandise Maku will also deputise for Bongi Mbonambi with Callie Visagie rested.  Tian Schoeman is bracketed with Tony Jantjies, who will undergo a fitness test before departure to Port Elizabeth.  “We have finally picked up some momentum in the competition and it is important to keep that going.  To have two Springboks in Akona and Bjorn coming back to full fitness is also great and I have no doubt that they will play a big role in our effort needed against a very capable Kings side.  We delivered a good performance against the Lions, but now need to justify that with another one against the Kings.  They may be winless, but is playing a brand of rugby that will demand only the best from our defence.  We will have to be sharp to beat them,” Ludeke said.

The team to play EP is:

15 Ulrich Beyers
14 Akona Ndungane
13 JJ Engelbrecht
12 Burger Odendaal                      
11 Bjorn Basson                              
10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter
9 Piet Van Zyl    
8 Jono Ross        
7 Jacques Du Plessis                      
6 Deon Stegmann (c)                    
5 Grant Hattingh                              
4 Paul Willemse                              
3 Werner Kruger
2 Bongi Mbonambi
1 Dean Greyling

Replacements:

16 Bandise Maku
17 Basil Short
18 Nicolaas Janse Van Rensburg
19 Jacques Engelbrecht
20 Rudi Paige
21 Tian Schoeman/Tony Jantjies
22 William Small-Smith