The Bulls have named their team to play the Cheetahs this weekend at Lotfus Versfeld in Pretoria with Handre Pollard starting ahead of Jacques-Louis Potgieter.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke tweaked his backline with a new midfield combination and has included Junior World Cup winning players William Small-Smith and Handre Pollard in the starting team for the first time this season and also gave prop Marcel van der Merwe a first start for the match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Small-Smith replaces JJ Engelbrecht, who moves to the bench in place of Ulrich Beyers, Pollard swop places with Jacques-Louis Potgieter (bench) and Van der Merwe takes to the field with Werner Kruger being used as impact player this time around.
Callie Visagie returns to hooker, with Bongi Mbonambi on the bench and Bandise Maku dropping out.
Ludeke said it was time for rotating players again and expressed his confidence in the two 21 year olds earning their first start.
“Both Handre and William have slotted in well at this level and are eager to show what they have to offer. This is a good opportunity for them.”
He admitted that his team is under pressure against a high-flying Cheetahs team, who earlier this year broke their Super Rugby duck against the Bulls.
“We are back at Loftus Versfeld where expectations are even higher and to be honest, not in a situation we wanted to be at this stage of the tournament. ”
“We need to get out of our losing streak and back to winning ways, not only to stay in the competition but to justify the hard work we have put in. I am confident that we can turn things around, as it is small things that are costing us at the moment.”
15. Jurgen Visser, 14. Akona Ndungane , 13. William Small-Smith , 12. Jan Serfontein , 11. Bjorn Basson , 10. Handre Pollard , 9. Francois Hougaard , 8. Grant Hattingh , 7. Jacques du Plessis, 6. Jono Ross , 5. Victor Matfield (c), 4. Paul Willemse , 3. Marcel van der Merwe, 2. Callie Visagie, 1. Dean Greyling
Replacements: 16. Bongi Mbonambi , 17. Morne Mellett ,18. Werner Kruger , 19. Jacques Engelbrecht , 20. Wimpie van der Walt , 21. Rudy Paige , 22. Jacques-Louis Potgieter , 23. JJ Engelbrecht