Arno Botha will captain a much-changed Vodacom Bulls side that will take on the Sigma Lions in a Carling Currie Cup clash at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday afternoon.
Both sides are on the back of high-scoring mid-week fixtures which saw the Vodacom Bulls emerge emphatic 56-33 winners over Tafel Lager Griquas on Wednesday, while their rivals from across the Jukskei River played to a scintillating 44-44 tie with the Toyota Cheetahs.
With an expectation of a gruelling contest in Johannesburg, Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, has opted to use the rotation policy to full effect with a total of nine changes made to the starting XV for Saturday’s clash, with the bulk of the starters from the mid-week game providing cover from the bench this weekend.
Among the changes is the half-back pairing of Keagan Johannes, at scrumhalf, and flyhalf Chris Smith who will receive starting berths. There will also be a changed front row as props Simphiwe Matanzima and Jacques van Rooyen will buckle down alongside hooker Jan-Hendrik Wessels for the clash.
Looking ahead to the game, White said: “We have yet another short turnaround from our previous match. It is therefore imperative that we utilise our squad effectively and implement our rotational policy wisely.
“We are at a crucial stage of the competition where teams are jostling for spots in the playoffs, and the Sigma Lions are very much in the race for a top four finish. Therefore, we expect them to come out guns blazing this weekend, and we will need to be on high alert and ready to counter whatever they throw at us.”
The match will kick off at 13h30 on Saturday, and it will be televised on SuperSport.
The Vodacom Bulls team to face the Sigma Lions is:
15. David Kriel (Betway Centurion)
14. Madosh Tambwe (Pretoria)
13. Lionel Mapoe (Pretoria)
12. Harold Vorster (Northam)
11. Kurt-Lee Arendse (Betway Centurion)
10. Chris Smith (Harlequins)
9. Keagan Johannes (FNB Tuks)
8. WJ Steenkamp (Tuine)
7. Muller Uys (FNB Tuks)
6. Arno Botha (ABE Midas Naka Bulle) – Captain
5. Janko Swanepoel (Pretoria)
4. Walt Steenkamp (Betway Centurion)
3. Jacques van Rooyen (Tuine)
2. Jan-Hendrik Wessels (U20)
1. Simphiwe Matanzima (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
16. Schalk Erasmus (Tuine)
17. Gerhard Steenekamp (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
18. Mornay Smith (Betway Centurion)
19. Ruan Nortje (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
20. Elrigh Louw (FNB Tuks)
21. Zak Burger (Tuine)
22. Johan Goosen (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
23. Stedman Gans (Northam)
24. Joe van Zyl (Harlequins)
25. Marco Jansen van Vuren (Pretoria)
26. Cornal Hendricks (Northam)
27. Stravino Jacobs (Harlequins)