Victor Matfield will play his 125th Super Rugby match when he comes off the bench against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
Cheetahs recruit Piet van Zyl and Handré Pollard join Matfield among the substitutes, with Pollard likely to make his Super Rugby debut at some point in the match.
Matfield's spot on the bench is expected, as the Bulls will look ease him back into the tough conditions of Super Rugby.
‘We all know what Victor is capable of. He showed in training and in our friendly match that he is still right up there among the best and I am confident that he will make a telling contribution when called upon,’ said Bulls coach Frans Ludeke.
There are eight survivors from the starting XV that contested the semi-final against the Brumbies, which the Bulls lost 26-23.
Bulls – 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Victor Matfield, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Ulrich Beyers.
Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images