All eyes will be on Loftus Versfeld this weekend as an expectant public wait to see what the Bulls serve up under new head coach John Mitchell.
“Blue Bulls rugby” will no doubt be consigned to history and the Pretoria side will be much fitter after Mitchell’s notorious brutal pre-seasons.
Mitchell, credited with the turnaround just over the Jukskei at the Lions is being looked at to do the same at the suffering union.
Renowned as an innovator and meticulous planner much is expected from the Bulls this season although the squad lacks the quality of previous Bulls teams.
A win or even a quality performance against the Hurricanes will certainly go a long way in signalling the new dawn at Loftus.
The Hurricanes however will not allow any hometown sentiment to creep into their preparations and will look to settle into their quick fire systems very early to take the game away from the Bulls.
The records shows that the Hurricanes has won there last three matches against the Bulls with the Bulls home record also not looking good with five losses in their last few outings.
Players to watch:
Burger Odendaal is not just the captain of this side but he comes off a great Currie Cup of 2017. He is a initiative player and showed that he is a great leader. Strong runner who can think on the field and have the skills to back it up as well.
Warrick Gelant has to keep the form that saw him get his first cap for the Boks last year. One of the players we need to see perform this year.
Predictions: The Bulls have a pretty good side on paper and playing the Hurricanes early on gives one a better change maybe to get a win. I am going out for a win to the Bulls by 5 points
Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Nic de Jager, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Divan Rossouw
Hurricanes: 15 Matt Proctor, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Ihaia West, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith
Replacements: 16 James O’Rielly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Murray Douglas, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Ben Lam
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria