Olivier has recovered from shoulder and hand operations and will partner Francois Venter in the midfield in the only change to the run-on side. He will also take over the vice-captain role.
He replaces injured Johann Sadie, who was ruled out for three weeks after injuring a shoulder in the Vodacom Bulls opening win of the competition last week against the Sharks.
Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke admitted that Olivier’s return came at just the right time.
“One always wants to have all your first choice players available, especially against an opponent as tough as the Cheetahs. Wynand is the second most experience player in the side, so we are delighted to have him back. We have lost some fine players to injury in the last couple of weeks, so it is great to have one of our international players back and ready for action.”
Ludeke included 12 Springboks in his starting line-up.
Vodacom Bulls captain, Pierre Spies, said of the clash against the Cheetahs:
“There is always a lot to play for in the local derbies and the Cheetahs will no doubt be one of our toughest opponents of the tournament. They have some exciting players, will have massive support for their first home fixture of the season and will be under pressure to get that first win out of the way. We will have to be at our very best to beat them,” Spies said.
The team to play the Cheetahs is (with Super Rugby caps):Zane Kirchner (55), Akona Ndungane (68), Wynand Olivier (87), Francois Venter (1), Bjorn Basson (26), Morné Steyn (90), Francois Hougaard (30), Pierre Spies (73, c), Jacques Potgieter (1), Deon Stegmann (56), Juandré Kruger (1), Flip van der Merwe (35), Werner Kruger (59), Chiliboy Ralepelle (36), Dean Greyling (16). Replacements: Willie Wepener (41), Frik Kirsten (3), Wilhelm Steenkamp (37), CJ Stander (1), Jano Vermaak (62)*, Louis Fouché (1), JJ Engelbrecht (1).
(*) denotes first Bulls Super Rugby cap