Elrigh Louw returns for the Vodacom Bulls’ eagerly anticipated clash against the returning Duane Vermeulen with Ulster at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The in-form Louw had been ruled out of the Bulls’ 45-15 mauling of the Dragons after returning a positive test for coronavirus. In other changes, prop Mornay Smith will also make a return to the starting XV after being on the bench for the Dragons clash. He replaces Jacques van Rooyen, who received a knock to the leg last week.
In the backline, Zak Burger will start at scrumhalf where he will form a halfback pairing with Chris Smith, while Cornal Hendricks will earn a starting berth at No 13, switching spots with Lionel Mapoe, who goes to the bench.
“We have had a tough couple of weeks against strong overseas opposition, and this week we are up against the team that is second on the URC log currently,” Bulls director rugby Jake White said. “This will be similar to a Test match for us, and we are looking forward to measuring ourselves against one of the best teams in the competition.
“We are looking forward to seeing Mornay Smith back in the starting lineup, while we are excited to see this team maintain their consistency as we continue to grow together as a unit.
“This will not only be a big game for us, but also for our fans whom we hope to see in their numbers at Loftus Versfeld. We can never underplay the role that supporters play and how important it is to have them back at our stadiums.”
Bulls – 15 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Cornal Hendricks, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marcell Coetzee (c), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Subs: 16 Joe van Zyl, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Robert Hunt, 19 Reinhardt Ludwig, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Lionel Mapoe.