The Vodacom Bulls will have a few of their Springboks back this weekend when they host the Reds.
All of Warrick Gelant, Jesse Kriel, Handré Pollard, Ivan van Zyl, Marco van Staden and RG Snyman will start this weekend after a disappointing lacklustre performance against the Jaguares.
Gelant who makes his return from injury replace Rossouw at fullback who will dropped to the bench as cover. Kriel and Pollard will replace Sage and Libbok with Libbok moving to the bench.
We will also see for the first time this season Van Staden and Snyman back in the team. Both also make a return to Loftus after injury.
They will replace Steenkamp and Eli Snyman who both got injured last week.
Duane Vermeulen is getting a well earned rest week which allow Paul Schoeman to get his first start at No 8.
Liebenberg moves back to the side of the scrum with Kirsten moving back to the second row. Visagie will start at hooker with Corniel Els on the bench.
Human will also have the luxury of Roelof Smit on the bench after also being declared fit after his injury layoff.
The Reds made four changes to their starting XV.
Chris Feauai-Sautia will start at outside centre in his return from a hamstring injury, as captain Samu Kerevi shifts back to 12.
Outside back Aidan Toua earns his first start this season on the wing replacing Sefa Naivalu, who is being rested in accordance with Rugby Australia’s workload management policy.
While prop Taniela Tupou and hooker Alex Mafi will both come off the bench and into the starting frontrow this weekend.
Tupou and Mafi’s inclusion in the XV sees Ruan Smith and Brandon Paenga-Amosa drop to the bench.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “Playing at Loftus is always a great and challenging experience. The Bulls will be highly motivated playing at home. After a couple of results haven’t gone their way, they’ll be putting in a good performance in front of their fans.
The Reds and Bulls will both want to bounce back this weekend which can make this a great game to watch or one of those boring 80 minutes were the two teams are just trying too much.
Some Interesting Facts (By: OPTA)
- Each of the last 12 Super Rugby games between the Bulls and Reds have been won by the home team on the day.
- The Bulls have won only one of their last five Super Rugby games at home against teams visiting from outside South Africa, despite leading at half-time on four occasions in that period.
- The Reds are on the hunt for back-to-back Super Rugby wins outside Australia for the first time since 2013 after securing a 34-31 win over the Sunwolves in Round 5.
- The Reds have beaten 29 defenders per game in Super Rugby 2019, the most of any team in the competition.
- Duane Vermeulen (Bulls) has won 12 turnovers in Super Rugby 2019, more than any other player, with seven of those turnovers coming from successful jackals (2nd most in the competition).
Prediction: Bulls to bounce back….Bulls by 10
Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jade Stighling, 10 Handré Pollard (c), 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jannes Kirsten, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehan Herbst, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.
Reds – 15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Jack Hardy, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi (c), 11 Aidan Toua, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Harry Hockings, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Angus Blyth, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Jock Campbell.