Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke named Victor Matfield to lead the team to play the DHL Stormers at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.
Ludeke made four changes and a positional switch to the starting team that lost their last Vodacom Super Rugby outing, against the Lions in Johannesburg, with Matfield and Paul Willemse starting at lock and Handrè Pollard at flyhalf. Werner Kruger also swop with Marcel van der Merwe in the regular rotation of the front row.
Grant Hattingh will vacate the lock position to make way for Matfield and again move to the back of the scrum in a positional switch that will also see Jacques Engelbrecht run out at flank.
Matfield was rested against the Lions and will lock the scrum with Willemse, who replaces injured captain, Flip van der Merwe, in the number four jersey. Engelbrecht’s move to the side of the scrum is a result of the injury to Jacques du Plessis.
Pollard missed the Lions clash due to his Junior Springbok commitments in New Zealand and returns to start at number 10. Jacques-Louis Potgieter moves to the bench in place of Louis Fouchè.
“We all know the maths. We need to go to Cape Town and get the full haul. It is a massive challenge but we feel that we can do it. Making the play-offs was one of our clear targets and we need a very positive performance at Newlands to make it happen,” Ludeke said.
Matfield agreed: “The Stormers are playing without any pressure at the moment and with their new confidence on attack, will test our defences. I believe defence is all about attitude, so we will have to look at ourselves first and decide how much we really want this.”
The team (with Super Rugby caps) is: Jurgen Visser (24), Akona Ndungane (107), JJ Engelbrecht (47), Jan Serfontein (26), Bjorn Basson (69), Handré Pollard (11), Francois Hougaard (70), Grant Hattingh (33), Jacques Engelbrecht (25), Jono Ross (17), Victor Matfield (136, c), Paul Willemse (18), Werner Kruger (106), Callie Visagie (36), Dean Greyling (52). Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi (14), Marcel van der Merwe (17), Mornè Mellett (22), Marvin Orie (0), Roelof Smit (0), Piet van Zyl (42), Jacques-Louis Potgieter (54), William Small-Smith (5).