Springbok lock Lood de Jager will make his debut for the Bulls on Saturday in Cape Town.
De Jager, who gained 40 Super Rugby caps for the Cheetahs, has been named along five Springboks Test players in the starting team, with Jesse Kriel, Jamba Ulengo, Handré Pollard, Rudy Paige, and Jacques Potgieter. RG Snyman and Lizo Gqoboka also played in the Green and Gold last season, as did Piet van Zyl.
De Jager is one of four newcomers to the Bulls team in their opening fixture of the competition. Edgar Marutlulle and Jacobie Adriaanse have already played at this level and will make their Bulls debuts when called upon from the bench, while back-up flanker, Ruan Steenkamp will make his Bulls and Super Rugby debut if he takes to the field.
Pollard will lead the team for the first time as captain and will make his first appearance in Super Rugby since 29 May 2015, when he played against the Brumbies in Canberra.
Injuries kept him out of rugby during the 2016 season.
Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Travis Ismaiel, 10 Handre Pollard(c), 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Nick de Jager, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Lizo Gqoboka, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Warrick Gelant
Date: Saturday, February 25
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 19:30 GMT (17:30 GMT)
Referee: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)