Papier to make rare start for Vodacom Blue Bulls

Embrose Papier will make a rare start for the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge when they take on the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

Papier played in the competition three times last year before making his Springbok debut later in the year. He will replace André Warner, who was called into the Vodacom Bulls squad.

Coach Nollis Marais was forced in a number of changes to his starting team that came up short against the iSG Pumas last weekend, due to other call-ups.

Cornal Hendricks, Rosko Specman and Dylan Sage are all needed at the Vodacom Bulls, which will see a brand new backline in action.

Earll Dowrie will start at fullback, while Duncan Matthews moves from the back to wing and JT Jackson from flyhalf to centre. Cameron Hufke will make his senior debut on the wing and Theo Boshoff will start at 10. Erich Cronje is the only player who will wear the same jersey again.

Up front, Nic de Jager will make a first appearance at flank while Marais also included a fit-again Roelof Smit on the bench.

Vaughan Isaacs and Diego Appollis has also being called into action, with both playing off the bench.

The changes are par for the course, said Marais.

“There is always the danger of losing players to the Vodacom Bulls and we have to cope with that. We also get players back at times and I am sure Embrose will enjoy the time on the field with us. The Namibian side are well-coached and will be a tough opponent, but we need to make sure we get on the winning track, starting this weekend,” he said.

The team is: Earll Douwrie, Duncan Matthews, Erich Cronje, JT Jackson, Cameron Hufke, Fiela Boshoff, Embrose Papier, Muller Uys, Nic De Jager, Ruan Steenkamp (c), Aston Fortuin, Marius Verwey, Mornay Smith, Werner Fourie, Nqoba Mxoli. Replacements: Joe van Zyl, Madot Mabokela, Ruan Nortje, Roelof Smit, Theo Maree, Vaughan Isaacs, Diego Appollis