Midfielder Jan Serfontein will make a first start in Vodacom Super Rugby when he takes the field for the Vodacom Bulls in their last overseas tour match against the Brumbies in Canberra.
The 20 year old has played off the bench twice in his debut season, but now gets a chance to stake a more permanent claim to the number 12 jersey.
Serfontein swops places with Francois Venter, who will revert to the bench, as Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke made two more changes in the backline.
Jürgen Visser will start at left wing in place of Bjorn Basson, who has an ankle injury, while Mornè Steyn is back as pivot after Louis Fouchè got a start last week.
Up front, Grant Hattingh (broken thumb) is replaced by Juandrè Kruger, while Wilhelm Steenkamp, who flew to Australia earlier in the week as a replacement, will play off the bench.
Arno Botha, who was rested against the Reds last week, will be used as impact player ahead of Jacques Potgieter.
Deon Stegmann recovered from his hamstring strain to the leave the loose trio intact.
The team to play the Brumbies:
Zane Kirchner, Lionel Mapoe, JJ Engelbrecht, Jan Serfontein, Jürgen Visser, Mornè Steyn, Jano Vermaak, Pierre Spies (c), Dewald Potgieter, Deon Stegmann, Juandrè Kruger, Paul Willemse, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Morne Mellett. Replacements: Willie Wepener, Frik Kirsten, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Arno Botha, Ruan Snyman, Louis Fouche, Francois Venter.
Injuries and rotation played a major role in Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke’s call to name an almost new side for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Reds in Brisbane.
An unsatisfactory loss to the Crusaders last weekend also resulted in at least four players being ruled out of the remainder of the tour and only six players who started in Christchurch will do so again this weekend.
Fullback Zane Kirchner, outside centre JJ Engelbrecht, halfback Jano Vermaak, no 8 and captain Pierre Spies, flanker Deon Stegmann and loose head prop Mornè Mellett are all in the run-on side again.
The return to fitness of Lionel Mapoe and Bjorn Basson will see both try-scoring aces on the wing, whilst Francois Venter will replace injured Wynand Olivier at inside centre.
Flyhalf Louis Fouchè will also earn a first start in Super Rugby, but the strappy pivot will be playing in his 15th match at this level.
Record-breaking flyhalf and the most experienced player in the side, Mornè Steyn will play off the bench for the first time in a couple of seasons.
Up front, the fit-again Dewald Potgieter takes over from Arno Botha at seven, whilst a new lock combination in Grant Hattingh and Paul Willemse will start for the first time in their Vodacom Bulls careers. Both have started for the MTN Lions last year.
Regular starter Juandrè Kruger will play off the bench and Flip van der Merwe is injured.
Springbok front row players Chiliboy Ralepelle and Werner Kruger also returns to the starting team ahead of Willie Wepener and Frik Kirsten.
On the bench, Ruan Snyman replaces the injured Francois Hougaard. Snyman’s only start for the Bulls was in 2010.
The team (with Super Rugby caps) is: Zane Kirchner (75), Lionel Mapoe (31), JJ Engelbrecht (20), Francois Venter (9), Bjorn Basson (44), Louis Fouchè (14) , Jano Vermaak (92), Pierre Spies (93, c), Dewald Potgieter (55), Deon Stegmann (63), Grant Hattingh (13), Paul Willemse (1), Werner Kruger (79), Chiliboy Ralepelle (56), Mornè Mellett (4). REPLACEMENTS: Willie Wepener (57), Frik Kirsten (19), Juandrè Kruger (21), Jacques Potgieter (16), Ruan Snyman (1), Mornè Steyn (110), Jan Serfontein (2).
•Louis Fouchè, Grant Hattingh and Paul Willemse will all make their run-on debut for the Vodacom Bulls.
•Mornè Steyn could extend his point scoring record of 1269 points (12 tries, 216 conversions, 235 penalties, 24 drop goals) if he takes to the field.
The Crusaders play their first home game of the season this Saturday night against a strong Bulls team who haven’t lost a game yet this season.
The Crusaders last met the Bulls in the 2012 qualifying rounds where the Crusaders came out the victors and secured a place in the semi-final with a 28-13win.
Head Coach Todd Blackadder has named his team with only one change to the team that played the Hurricanes last weekend.
Tom Taylor’s medial ligament injury has ruled him out of this week’s game allowing Tyler Bleyendaal to take his place on the bench.
It is 209 days since the Crusaders last played at home and the team is excited to be running out onto AMI Stadium (Addington) once again to play in front of a home crowd. Kick-off is at 7:35pm.
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Tom Donnelly, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tyler Bleyendaal, 22 Adam Whitelock.
Vodacom Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe will play in his 50th Vodacom Super Rugby match when his team takes on the Western Force at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Van der Merwe has played six of those for the Toyota Cheetahs whilst still a student in Bloemfontein and the commerce graduate has since reeled off 43 matches for the Bulls.
The lock will again combine with Juandrè Kruger in the engine room, but is behind them in the scrum where the most significant changes are to the team that beat the DHL Stormers last weekend.
Both Dewald Potgieter and Deon Stegmann picked up injuries in that win and will be replaced by Jacques Potgieter and Arno Botha respectively. Jean Cook comes into the reserves and will make his Super Rugby debut if he takes to the field.
In another change at the back, Lionel Mapoe moves from wing to outside centre in place of injured JJ Engelbrecht, with Akona Ndungane moving to the right wing berth for his 85th match in Bulls colours. Ndungane has been bracketed with Sampie Mastriet, with the latter to make his debut if Ndungane’s ankle injury flares up again.
Jan Serfontein has also been named on the bench, but has a hip strain and if ruled out, Francois Venter will again play in the number 22 shirt.
Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke was pleased to have experience to fall back on, but warned that it guarantees nothing against an opponent that has beaten the Bulls at Loftus before.
“Last week was last week. We are grateful for the win, but this week we face a new opponent that will post new challenges. The Western Force has been a difficult opponent in the past and will again ask questions to our all round game and our defence. We have prepared well though and will be looking forward to the challenge.”
Vodacom Bulls captain Pierre Spies admitted that a good performance would be paramount for his side before they embark on their overseas leg of the competition.
“We cannot look past this match as it will determine the mind-set we will take onto tour. So this is a very important match for us,” Spies said.
The team to play the Western Force (with Super caps) is: Zane Kirchner (72), Akona Ndungane (84)/Sampie Mastriet (0), Lionel Mapoe (29), Wynand Olivier (104), Bjorn Basson (43), Mornè Steyn (107), Francois Hougaard (46), Pierre Spies (90, c), Arno Botha (11), Jacques Potgieter (13), Juandrè Kruger (18), Flip van der Merwe (49), Werner Kruger (76), Chiliboy Ralepelle (53), Mornè Mellett (1). Replacements: Willie Wepener (54), Frik Kirsten (16), Grant Hattingh (10), Jean Cook (0), Jano Vermaak (89), Louis Fouchè (10), Jan Serfontein (0)/Francois Venter (9).
The Vodacom Bulls on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Victor Matfield as their new Forwards and Attack Coach for the 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby season, while also naming Derick Hougaard as a skills and kicking coach and Handrè Pollard as part of their extended playing squad for the new season.