Injuries to key players forced the Blue Bulls to give some of their future stars a place in the starting line-up for Friday's Currie Cup match against Griquas in Pretoria.
Arno Botha, who captained the Baby Boks this year, was selected to start at flank in the place of Deon Stegmann (cheekbone fracture) while Tukkies flanker Warwick Tacklenburg will stand in for Dewald Potgieter.
Potgieter was ruled out after he had to undergo surgery to his nose.
This means the experienced Gary Botha will captain the team from the frontrow where he takes over from Chiliboy Ralepelle who is in camp with the Springboks.
Willie Wepener was selected as frontrow cover.
In another change, 20-year-old Louis Fouché swops jerseys with Marnitz Boshoff at flyhalf, with the 21-year-old moving to the bench.
Another 20-year-old, Jono Ross, will make his Currie Cup debut if called upon from the bench.
With regards to his selection of the youngsters, Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar insisted that the future is as important in his vision as the now.
"The Currie Cup competition is not the platform for experiments, but a very tough one to test the mettle of younger players," he said.
"We expect of these younger players to play a big role in the future of the team and the sooner we have peace of mind that they can make the necessary step-up, the better and the quicker we can move forward."
Pienaar insisted that only an improved performance by his troops will give justice to the victory in Nelspruit.
"We still have hard work ahead of us and a long way to go and one victory does not suddenly change that. Griquas will be very positive after some good wins in recent weeks and we will be on the very top of our game to beat them. It is also a home game and victories in these are non-negotiable."
Captain Botha agreed that the team have a massive challenge ahead, not only for the weekend, but the season.
"We are still nowhere close to where we need to be on the log neither are we to the standards we have set out for ourselves," Botha said.
"The match against Griquas gives us the perfect opportunity to take another forward step towards those goals. Griquas will also provide a very stern test to show if we are indeed moving in the right direction."
Blue Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Zane Kirchner, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Arno Botha, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Gary Botha (captain), 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 19 Jono Ross, 20 Dustin Jinka, 21 Marnitz Boshoff, 22 Francois Venter.
Date: Friday, August 19
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Sindile Mayende
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha, Attie Buitendag
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee
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