Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, has opted for consistency ahead of the Carling Currie Cup clash against DHL Western Province after making minor changes to the team that emerged victorious against Sigma Lions last Sunday.
The Vodacom Bulls will head into the clash in Cape Town on Friday night with a new front row as props Gerhard Steenekamp and Mornay Smith are handed starting berths, replacing the previous match’s starters, Simphiwe Matanzima and Jacques van Rooyen.
Marcell Coetzee, who was a late omission from the team last week due to illness, makes a return in the No.6 jersey and will retain the captaincy.
Springbok loosehead prop, Lizo Gqoboka, slots back into the match-day 23 as bench cover following his release from the national team camp.
The side will also receive a boost in the form of Nizaam Carr, another late casualty last week who was withdrawn on match-day after picking up a niggle ahead of the Jukskei Derby.
White said ahead of the game: “The North versus South derby never fails to produce exciting, quality rugby. We expect nothing less this week in Cape Town.
“We have had a good few days of training after our fixture on Sunday, where we have had time to work on a few critical areas of improvement as well as enhancing the aspects where we fared well. DHL Western Province is a combative side that are also strong contenders for the title, so we will need to be at the top of our game on Friday night.”
The match will kick-off at 19h00 on Friday, and will be televised on SuperSport.
The Vodacom Bulls team is as follows:
David Kriel (Betway Centurion)
Cornal Hendricks (Northam)
Lionel Mapoe (Pretoria)
Harold Vorster (Northam)
Richard Kriel (Tuine)
Johan Goosen (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
Zak Burger (Tuine)
Elrigh Louw (FNB Tuks)
Muller Uys (FNB Tuks)
Marcell Coetzee (ABE Midas Naka Bulle) – Capt
Ruan Nortje (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
Walt Steenkamp (Betway Centurion)
Mornay Smith (Betway Centurion)
Johan Grobbelaar (FNB Tuks)
Gerhard Steenekamp (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
Schalk Erasmus (Tuine)
Lizo Gqoboka (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
Jacques van Rooyen (Tuine)
Janko Swanepoel (Pretoria)
Nizaam Carr (Betway Centurion)
Keagan Johannes (FNB Tuks)
Chris Smith (Harlequins)
Sibongile Novuka (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)