The Vodacom Bulls have made minimum changes to the team that will face the Cell C Sharks in the Carling Currie Cup final at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, has opted for consistency in the season finale, making only two changes to the team that overpowered DHL Western Province in the semi-final last week.
With the unavailability of flyhalf, Johan Goosen, it will be the reliable Chris Smith who will slot in to don the No10 jersey for the showdown, in the only change to the backline.
In the forwards, Joe van Zyl gets the nod for a starting berth at hooker, replacing Schalk Erasmus from last Friday’s fixture, while Jan-Hendrik Wessels will once again provide cover from the bench.
“The players have proven to be consistent over the past few weeks in their performances, so it is only natural that we continue with that consistency into this all-important Carling Currie Cup final,” said White.
“We expect a tough battle against the Cell C Sharks – a match that will be on par with test match rugby. The Cell C Sharks have been a formidable side throughout their campaign. They are well-coached, have talented players and are a driven group. So, we expect them to throw everything at us this weekend.
“We know what’s heading our way this weekend, and there is no doubt that rugby fans are in for a treat.”
The match will kick-off at 17h00, and it will be televised on SuperSport.
The Vodacom Bulls team is:
15. David Kriel (Betway Centurion)
14. Cornal Hendricks (Northam)
13. Lionel Mapoe (Pretoria)
12. Harold Vorster (Northam)
11. Madosh Tambwe (Pretoria)
10. Chris Smith (Harlequins)
9. Zak Burger (Tuine)
8. Elrigh Louw (FNB Tuks)
7. Arno Botha (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
6. Marcell Coetzee (ABE Midas Naka Bulle) – Captain
5. Ruan Nortje (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
4. Janko Swanepoel (Pretoria)
3. Mornay Smith (Betway Centurion)
2. Joe van Zyl (Harlequins)
1. Gerhard Steenekamp (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
16. Jan-Hendrik Wessels (U20)
17. Simphiwe Matanzima (ABE Midas Naka Bulle)
18. Jacques van Rooyen (Tuine)
19. Jacques du Plessis (FNB Tuks)
20. WJ Steenkamp (Tuine)
21. Keagan Johannes (FNB Tuks)
22. Ruan Combrinck (Tuine) / David Coetzer (FNB Tuks)
23. Stravino Jacobs (Harlequins)
24. Reinhardt Ludwig (U20)
25. Jaco Labuschagne (Pretoria)
26. Marco Jansen van Vuren (Pretoria)
27. David Coetzer (FNB Tuks)
28. Stedman Gans (Northam)
29. Schalk Erasmus (Tuine)