There will be all to play for when Ospreys host the Vodacom Bulls at Swansea.com Stadium in Wales on Friday night. A win for the Vodacom Bulls will keep their hopes alive of potentially securing a home Vodacom United Rugby Championship quarter-final, pending the permutations of other fixtures over the weekend, while Ospreys will be gunning for the Welsh Shield which they are scrambling for together with domestic rivals, Scarlets.
Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, has selected a strong side for the Vodacom URC Round 18 clash which will be the last opportunity for the SA-based side to run out before the playoffs stages.
The team will see the return of utility back, David Kriel, who will earn a starting berth at wing, while Cornal Hendricks will also be in the starting XV, partnering with Harold Vorster to make up the midfield combination.
On the bench, backup flyhalf, Juan Mostert, and centre Stedman Gans will have an opportunity to make an impact as substitutes, while Springbok scrumhalf Embrose Papier is likely to spark things in the latter stages of the game.
A strong reserve bench of forwards will include the likes of Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Simphiwe Matanzima, Robert Hunt, Janko Swanepoel and Arno Botha.
“There is a lot to play for in this match, so we expect a huge battle against a motivated Ospreys side that will be looking to claim the Welsh Shield with a win over us,” said White ahead of the game.
“We expect the match to be a tough encounter, with Ospreys set to be, as always, competitive in the set pieces. We have seen what they are capable of, and they will no doubt want to get a good result in front of their home crowd.”
The match will kick-off at 21h10 and it will be televised on SuperSport.
The Vodacom Bulls team to face Ospreys is:
Canan Moodie (Pretoria, David Kriel (Tuine), Cornal Hendricks (Northam Rhinos), Harold Vorster (Northam Rhinos), Madosh Tambwe (Pretoria), Chris Smith (Harlequin), Zak Burger (Tuine); Elrigh Louw (UP Tuks), Cyle Brink (Betway Centurion), Marcell Coetzee (ABE Midas Naka Bulle, CAPT), Ruan Nortje (ABE Midas Naka Bulle), Walt Steenkamp (Tuine), Mornay Smith (Betway Centurion), Johan Grobbelaar (UP Tuks), Gerhard Steenekamp (ABE Midas Naka Bulle).
Jan-Hendrik Wessels (Pretoria), Simphiwe Matanzima (ABE Midas Naka Bulle), Robert Hunt (Harlequin), Janko Swanepoel (Pretoria), Arno Botha (ABE Midas Naka Bulle); Embrose Papier (UP Tuks), Juan Mostert (Harlequin), Stedman Gans (Northam Rhinos)