The Vodacom Bulls have made three changes to their starting fifteen for this weekend’s derby against the Lions – a game that Frans Ludeke’s men have to win in order to stay in Super Rugby play-off contention.
Given the importance of the fixture, it’s perhaps a little surprising that this is the week that’s been chosen to rest Victor Matfield. Grant Hattingh shifts from number 8 to lock in place of Matfield, with Jacques Engelbrecht moving into the starting loose trio after a few weeks on the bench.
Marcel van der Merwe rotates into the starting lineup, at tight head prop ahead of Werner Kruger.
Three further changes on the bench see Wimpie van der Walt, William Small-Smith and Louis Fouche come into the squad, the latter as replacement for Junior Bok captain Handre Pollard, who is currently in New Zealand.
Vodacom Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe (captain), 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Morné Mellett, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Wimpie van der Walt, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Louis Fouché, 23 William Small-Smith.