Pretoria - Their most experienced player ever, Morné Steyn, is back in the Bulls starting line-up for their Super Rugby match against the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 19:15.
Steyn came off the bench in last weekend’s win over the Kings much earlier than planned, having to replace Louis Fouché (who tore knee ligaments) and continued to set the high standards expected.
He is one of three changes to the starting line-up.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke
also changed his midfield combination. Wynand Olivier
has departed for France, resulting in Jan Serfontein
and JJ Engelbrecht
combining again, with Serfontein moving to his preferred inside berth.
There are also a number of changes on the bench.Jano Vermaak
has recovered from his hamstring injury and replaces Rudy Paige, Callie Visagie and Willie Wepener rotates again at hooker and Jurgen Visser comes into the squad as back-up flyhalf.
Morné Mellett comes into the side in place of the Paris-bound Juandré Kruger, as Ludeke opted for two props on the bench.
“We have had a lot of disruptions since the squad returned and injuries to the likes of Pierre (Spies), Arno (Botha), Louis (Fouché) and the departures of Wynand (Olivier) and Juandré (Kruger) certainly did not make life easier for us. Fortunately we have always backed the depth of our squad and that is bearing fruit,” Ludeke said.
“We will face a Sharks team that will be desperate, as they need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive, but we have also goals to achieve and to get there, we need to keep on winning,” Ludeke said.
Bulls captain, Dewald Potgieter, said the focus will be solely on doing the basics right as a team.
“We are not looking at the bigger picture yet. We need to beat a very strong Sharks side packed with class players and lots of experience. We need to back ourselves, execute what has worked for us for far and most important, show up as a team on Saturday.”
15 Zane Kirchner
, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht
, 12 Jan Serfontein
, 11 Bjorn Basson
, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard
, 8 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip vd Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger
, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle
, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Jono Ross, 20 Jano Vermaak
, 21 Jurgen Visser, 22 Morné Mellet