Jake White has made just one change to the Vodacom Bulls side that will front the Sharks in the Currie Cup final at Loftus on Saturday.
The change comes up front, where hooker Johan Grobbelaar gets the starting nod ahead of Schalk Erasmus, who will be providing cover on the bench.
Duane Vermeulen will again lead the team from the back of the scrum in his successful loose-forward partnership with Elrigh Louw and fellow Springbok Marco van Staden. Springboks Trevor Nyakane and Lizo Gqoboka prop up a strong Bulls scrum while adding firepower in loose play.
The backs are unchanged as Marco Jansen van Vuren continues in his role at outside centre after a successful outing against the Lions in the semi-final last week.
Morne Steyn’s experience will contribute towards the collective strength of this team as he continues to rack up points with his boot while unleashing a backline that carries a massive punch, spearheaded by Springbok Cornal Hendricks and Blitzbok Kurt-Lee Arendse.
Former schoolboy sensation Stravino Jacobs has excelled in his baptism-of-fire first season as a senior player, and will be keen to add to the brace he scored in the semi-final last weekend.
‘We have secured a place in the final but we still have 80 minutes to play. There are no second chances in playoff rugby and our opponents are just as eager to lift this coveted trophy. Our job is to prevent this from happening and ensuring that the Carling Currie Cup returns to Loftus Versfeld,’ said White on Thursday.
Bulls – 15 David Kriel, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (c), 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Subs: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Mornay Smith, 19 Jan Uys, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Marnus Potgieter.
Photo: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images