The Bulls will go into their Currie Cup clash against the Sharks with a new-look front row in Durban on Friday night.
With livewire hooker, Johan Grobbelaar, having been called up to the Springbok camp this week following impressive performances for the Bulls, Schalk Erasmus has been promoted to the starting XV, where he will be joined by Lizo Gqoboka and Mornay Smith as the new prop combination.
The versatile Cornal Hendricks, who has featured on the right wing in the previous two outings, will make a return to inside centre this week where he will partner up with Harold Vorster, who switches to No 13, for the midfield pairing.
The backline has also received a boost with the return of Stedman Gans from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where he represented the SA Sevens side. Gans will slot into the number 11 jersey on the left wing, with live-wire Madosh Tambwe also making a return.
Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, expressed the side's enthusiasm ahead of the clash in Durban,
"It’s another tough week against a Sharks team that will want to bounce back from their defeat to Griquas last weekend," he said.
"It is a top of the table clash, so we can expect a fierce battle with the Sharks, who will certainly be up for the contest in an effort to topple us from the top of the log. There is definitely a lot to play for and we will have to be at the top of our game in this contest to continue with the momentum we have so far in the competition.
"We are fortunate to be able to count on the experience of players like Lizo, who starts this week. We are also excited to have the likes of Madosh and Stedman back to bolster the squad, while relying on both the experience and exuberance of the bench to close off the game for us.”The match will kick off at 19h00 and will be televised on SuperSport.
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Werner Kok, 12 Murray Koster, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (captain), 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu
Substitutes: 16 Khwezi Mona, 17 Lourens Adriaanse, 18 Thembelani Bholi, 19 Mpilo Gumede, 20 James Venter, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Anthony Volmink
15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Harold Vorster, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stedman Gans, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Muller Uys, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Schalk Erasmus, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Substitutes (from): 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Mhleli Dlamini, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Sibongile Novuka, 24 Jacques van Rooyen, 25 Reinhardt Ludwig, 26 WJ Steenkamp, 27 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 28 Richard Kriel