South Africa backs JJ Engelbrecht and Jan Serfontein will combine in midfield for the Blue Bulls when they face the Cheetahs.
Coach Pine Pienaar has also promoted loose forward Jacques Engelbrecht to his starting pack for Saturday's Currie Cup clash in Bloemfontein.
The Bok midfield duo will play for the Blue Bulls for the first time this season and will replace William Small-Smith and Francois Venter respectively. Small-Smith will move to the Under-21's and Venter to the bench.
Engelbrecht's inclusion at number eight, only his second start in seven matches, prompted a reshuffle to the loose trio. Regular number eight, Jono Ross, moves to the side of the scrum, with Wiaan Liebenberg released to captain the Under-21 side.
A fit-again Jean Cook moves onto the bench. In more changes on the bench, Werner Kruger replaces Dean Greyling and Clayton Blommetjies comes in for Ulrich Beyers.
"We painted ourselves into this corner and it is up to us to get out of it as well. This is not the ideal situation, but there is still something to play for. We will have to take our chances, it is as simple as that," said Pienaar.
Blue Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross (c), 5 David Bullbring, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Marcel van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Jean Cook, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 Francois Venter, 22 Clayton Blommetjies.
Date: Saturday, October 12
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 19:10 local (17:10 GMT)
Referee: Marius Jonker