Vodacom Bulls coach Pote Human has included Springboks Warrick Gelant, Jesse Kriel, Handré Pollard, Ivan van Zyl, Marco van Staden and RG Snyman in his starting team to play the Reds in a Vodacom Super Rugby encounter at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, as part of sweeping changes to the team that lost to the Jaguares.
Gelant returns from injury to take over the fullback duties from Divan Rossouw, while Kriel and Pollard are back having been rested the previous week. Both Van Staden and Snyman have recovered from injury and will start for the first time this season. Van Zyl rotates again with fellow Bok scrumhalf Embrose Papier.
Duane Vermeulen is rested for this game, which opens the way for Paul Schoeman to make his first start of the season at No 8. Hanro Liebenberg swops places with Jannes Kirsten, with the latter moving to lock, while a fit-again Jaco Visagie gets the nod at hooker.
Meanwhile, the Pretoria side will swop their traditional light blue colours for green this week to help raise awareness for the South African National Parks rangers for their wildlife conservation efforts.
What they said:
Vodacom Bulls flyhalf and captain Handre Pollard said: “There is nothing better for South Africans to experience than to spend time at one of our many national parks and our enjoyment of this would not be possible without the excellent work that SANParks does. We love playing in front of our supporters in the hallowed Vodacom Bulls jersey and we will have the privilege of facing the Reds with some of SANParks rangers in attendance which serves as extra motivation to play our best game.”
Vodacom Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jade Stighling, 10 Handre Pollard (captain), 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jannes Kirsten 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.
Reds: 15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Jack Hardy, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi (captain), 11 Aidan Toua, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Harry Hockings, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Angus Blyth, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Jock Campbel.
Head to head:
Vodacom Bulls won: 9
Reds won: 12
Vodacom Bulls points: 565
Reds points: 483
Average score: 27-23
Date: Saturday, 13 April
SA time: 17h15
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, AJ Jacobs
Television Match Official: Willie Vos