Chiliboy Ralepelle has failed a fitness test and will miss the Currie Cup final.
The Bulls will, however, be bolstered by the return of Bryan Habana, who trained on Monday afternoon without any reaction to a hamstring injury he sustained in their semi-final victory over Western Province.
Ralepelle was always in a race against time to recover from a hairline fracture in his foot, and Bulls team doctor Org Strauss lamented his absence.
‘Chili was still feeling a significant amount of pain when he ran today, and unfortunately we’ve taken the decision to make him unavailable for selection this weekend,’ Strauss told keo.co.za.
‘It was always going to be a push. An injury of this nature usually takes about six weeks to heal, and we were trying to get him ready in four. This meant he couldn’t complete all the phases of the rehabilitation process and ultimately missed out.’
Strauss did, however, stress that he believed Ralepelle would be fit to tour Europe with the Springboks if selected. He continued by explaining that a gamble on an unusual approach to treating Habana had paid off.
‘We used a different treatment model for Bryan and it appears to have been a success,’ he said. ‘We injected cortisone into his hamstring and he completed a whole training session without any pain. Importantly, he ran at full pace.’
There are no other injury concerns for the Bulls.
Blue Bulls (probable) - 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Derick Kuün, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Subs: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Danie Rossouw, 19 Pedrie Wannenburg, 20 Heini Adams, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.