Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke announced his team to play the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday and named a side with multiple Super Rugby medal winners to face the Canterbury side, another team with a strong Super Rugby legacy.
Ludeke made only one change to the side that beat the MTN Lions last weekend, with the fit-again Flip van der Merwe returning to his regular berth at lock at the expense of Wilhelm Steenkamp, who returns to the bench, where CJ Stander drops out of the match 22.
Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, Wynand Olivier, Mornè Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies, Dewald Potgieter, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle and Dean Greyling all won medals before, but have not played in a quarter-final as the Bulls failed to qualify last year, when it was introduced for the first time in the competition.
The Vodacom Bulls team (with Super caps) is: Zane Kirchner (70), Akona Ndungane (83), JJ Engelbrecht (16), Wynand Olivier (102), Bjorn Basson (41), Mornè Steyn (105), Francois Hougaard (44), Pierre Spies (88, c), Dewald Potgieter (53), Jacques Potgieter (12) Juandrè Kruger (16), Flip van der Merwe (47) Werner Kruger (74), Chiliboy Ralepelle (51), Dean Greyling (29). Replacements: Willie Wepener (52), Frik Kirsten (14), Wilhelm Steenkamp (51), Deon Stegmann (59), Jano Vermaak (87), Louis Fouchè (9), Francois Venter (7).
• Mornè Steyn has scored more points than any other South African player in Super Rugby (1198 points) and could extend that record against the Crusaders. He also holds the record for penalties (217), conversions (210) and the tournament record for drop goals (24).
•Wynand Olivier will play in his 103rd Super match for the Bulls and is the most experienced South African midfielder in the competition.
•Bjorn Basson has scored ten tries in 2012 and is the Vodacom Bulls record holder for tries in a season. He also shares the most tries in the competition with Andre Taylor of the Hurricanes and could move into top spot on Saturday.