Bulls head coach Frans Ludeke has named Francois Venter at number 12 for their clash with the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has named Francois Venter at number 12 for their clash with the Stormers at Newlands.
Springbok centre Jan Serfontein hurt his knee in the victory over the Sharks and has been ruled out for two weeks while HandrÃ¨ Pollard for is out for six weeks with a shoulder injury.
Venter, who came off the bench earlier in the season when the Bulls beat the Stormers 22-17 at Loftus Versfeld, has recovered from a groin operation and will be hungry to perform well.
Jano Vermaak is also back in the number nine jumper following Francois Hougaard's ankle injury and the 102-match veteran's place on the bench will be taken by Rudy Paige.
The suspension of Wilhelm Steenkamp opened the door for 19-year-old Jacques du Plessis, who could make his debut for the Bulls after he was included as replacement-lock.
“We have one more box to tick to reach our goal of finishing top of the log after regular play,” Ludeke told the Bulls website on Wednesday.
“I am pleased to include someone like Swys (Venter) as he has proved himself at this level and will be itching to play after a successful recovery from his groin operation. We are all very excited for Jacques. He has been training with us all season and he will be very keen to use this opportunity. Jano's form has earned him a test cap this season, so he will be keen to stamp his authority on the match.”
According to Bulls captain Dewald Potgieter, his team will have to make a step-up in their approach and execution if they want to beat the Stormers and end the season top of the table.
“We did not react well in certain situations when placed under pressure last weekend and will have to improve on that,” he said.
“The Stormers have momentum and the home crowd on their side and this being the big North/South derby we will have to front up. It is fair to say that this will be our biggest test this season.”
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 MornÃ© Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Dewald Potgieter (capt), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 MornÃ© Mellet, 19 Jacques du Plessis, 20 Jono Ross, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 JÃ¼rgen Visser.
Date: Saturday, July 13
Kick-off: 19:10 local (18:10 BST, 17:10 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Linston Manuels (South Africa)
Television match official: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)