The Bulls have named a side laden with Springboks for their clash with the Cheetahs at Loftus on Saturday.
Zane Kirchner has recovered from an injury sustained while on Springbok duty, while Dewald Potgieter is back after a lay-off for a knee injury. He replaces CJ Stander in the starting line-up, with Arno Botha dropping out of the 22. Prop Frik Kirsten, who broke his hand on the Bulls’ Australasian tour, replaces Rayno Gerber on the bench.
Head coach Ludeke said they were entering a crucial phase of the competition.
‘We are lucky to have all our players back from international duty injury free and ready to go. The series win against England will do wonders for their confidence, while those not involved with the Boks are refreshed and ready to go,’ Ludeke said. ‘Our Springboks are not international players for nothing, they have the mental strength to recover quickly from disappointing performances.’
Bulls - 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Mornè Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Dewald Potgieter, 5 Juandrè Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Subs: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Francois Venter.