Pierre Spies is back to captain the Bulls in their Super Rugby opener, against the Stormers at Loftus on Friday night.
Lions import Lionel Mapoe starts at right wing, with JJ Engelbrecht preferred at outside centre. The loss of Dean Greyling and Jacques Potgieter have opened the door for Morne Mellet and Dewald Potgieter to start at loose head prop and blindside flank respectively, with the former earning his first cap in Super Rugby.
Another Lions import, Grant Hattingh, takes the injured Wilhelm Steenkamp’s place on the bench and will earn a first Bulls cap should he be brought on.
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner , 14 Lionel Mapoe , 13 JJ Engelbrecht ,12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson , 10 Mornè Steyn , 9 Francois Hougaard , 8 Pierre Spies(capt), 7 Dewald Potgieter , 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandrè Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe , 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Mornè Mellett. Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener , 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh , 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak , 21 Louis Fouchè , 22 Francois VenterTweet