Lock Wilhelm Steenkamp will lead a young and dynamic Bulls team in their first outing of 2012 when they take on the Kings in their compulsory friendly in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Steenkamp is one of three players in the team with extensive Super Rugby experience, with former Lions players Jano Vermaak and Willie Wepener the others.
The rest of the team is a combination of new recruits and proven stars in the Blue Bulls age group teams who will be desperate to show their worth and force their way into coach Frans Ludeke's final Super Rugby squad.
Hooker Wepener will partner promising tighthead Frik Kirsten and Pumas recruit Dawie Steyn in the front row while Steenkamp will link up with former SA Under-20 captain Gerrit-Jan van Vélze at lock.
The loose trio is brimming with youthful talent with last year's SA U20 captain Arno Botha linking up with the versatile Jean Cook on the side of the scrum and the energetic CJ Stander at No.8.
In the backline the experienced Vermaaak will link up with Louis Fouche at halfback while former Stormers utility back Lionel Cronje will get a chance to show what he offers at inside centre.
Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Lionel Cronjé, 11 JJ Engelbrecht, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Jean Cook, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp (captain), 4 Gerrit-Jan van Vélze, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Dawie Steyn.
Replacements: 16 Bongani Mbonambi, 17 Louis Alberts, 18 Daniel Adonga, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Cornell Hess, 21 Ruan Snyman, 22 Francois Venter/ Courtnall Skosan, 23 Adri Jacobs, 24 Clayton Blommetjies.
Date: Saturday, February 4
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: Phillip Bosch, Christie du Preez
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