Springbok forwards Victor Matfield and Pierre Spies will be on the bench for the Blue Bulls for Friday’s Absa Currie Cup match at Loftus Versfeld against the Boland Kavaliers.

Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has given the two players a few days off after a strenuous Tri-Nations campaign but says he doesn’t want them completely out of the picture as he wants to get some continuity going in the last few weeks of the Currie Cup competition.

Wikus van Heerden takes over the captaincy from Matfield and the young Dewald Potgieter will get his first start in the Blue Bulls’ number 8-jersey.

World Cup Springboks Danie Rossouw, Bryan Habana and Wynand Olivier weren’t considered due to injury, which opens the door for Juandré Kruger, John Mametsa and Wayne Julies to start on Friday.

Kruger will scrum in the second row at the side of Wilhelm Steenkamp, while Mametsa will be in a back three together with Tiger Mangweni and Akona Ndungane.

Julies partners Marius Delport in the midfield. Springbok Fourie du Preez, who hasn’t played as many matches as someone like Matfield will start against the Kavaliers.

However, flank Deon Stegmann gets a complete break. He has been involved in almost all of the Super 14 and Currie Cup matches. Pedrie Wannenburg will be used as the blindside flanker.

Van Heerden will be the openside flank and Wannenburg will be used as the primary ball carrier. At tighthead Rayno Gerber starts in place of Werner Kruger while Jaco Engels and Chiliboy Ralepelle are not in the match-22 because of the rotation policy.

With Engels and Ralepelle on the sideline, Gurthrö Steenkamp will start as loosehead with Bandise Maku as the hooker reserve. Blue Bulls: Tiger Mangweni; Akona Ndungane, Marius Delport, Wayne Julies, John Mametsa; Morné Steyn, Fourie du Preez; Dewald Potgieter, Wikus van Heerden (captain), Pedrie Wannenburg, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Juandré Kruger, Rayno Gerber, Derick Kuün, Gurthrö Steenkamp. Replacements: Bandise Maku, Werner Kruger, Victor Matfield, Pierre Spies, Heini Adams, Burton Francis, Zane Kirchner.