Vodacom Bulls new coach Pote Human has named an experience side to face the Stormers on Saturday at Loftus.
Both his new signings Vermeulen and Brits will be in the starting lineup.
Vermeulen returns to Super Rugby after he spend the last four years in France and Japan.
He comes with a world of experience having played 109 Super Rugby matches for the Cheetahs and Stormers.
Human also included Rosko Specman in his starting team as he will make his Super Rugby debut on Saturday.
On the bench he included Human also named Corniel Els, Simphiwe Matanzima, Eli Snyman and Dylan Sage on the bench, with all due for a first appearance for the home side in the competition.
On the side of the scrum he went with Steenkamp and Liebenberg to team up with Vermeulen.
Lood De Jager will captain the team and he will partner with Jenkins in the second row.
Odendaal and Kriel will make up the midfield with Gelant at the back.
Human said they are not the favourites despite playing at home.
“Recent history shows how formidable the Stormers have been. They have won seven of their last nine games against us, so will have more than enough confidence coming here. That said, we did beat them here last year, so if we apply what we trained, I firmly believe we can do that again.”
An 80 minute effort will be needed though, De Jager insisted.
“We held the lead in three of our last matches at halftime and only won once, so it is imperative that we not only start well, but sustain our efforts for the full 80 minutes. There is massive excitement and expectation amongst the squad this year and we are keen to go out and play the best rugby we can,” the captain said.
Bulls Team: Warrick Gelant (34, 60), Johnny Kotze (34, 40), Jessie Kriel (61, 75), Burger Odendaal (43, 15), Rosko Specman (on debut), Handré Pollard (46, 437), Embrose Papier (10, 5), Duane Vermeulen (109, 40), Hanro Liebenberg (28, 15), Ruan Steenkamp (11, 0), Lood de Jager (c; 60, 25), Jason Jenkins (40, 35), Trevor Nyakane (91, 15), Schalk Brits (63, 20), Lizo Gqoboka (37, 10).
Replacements: Corniel Els (on debut), Simphiwe Matanzima (0, 0), Dayan van der Westhuizen (10, 0), Eli Snyman (on debut), Thembelani Bholi (30, 5), Ivan van Zyl (17, 0), Manie Libbok (8, 13), Dylan Sage (on debut).