The Bulls have named a team with 12 Springboks, including fit-again vice-captain Wynand Olivier at outside centre, for the clash with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Olivier has recovered from shoulder and hand operations and will partner Francois Venter in the midfield in the only change to the run-on side that defeated the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld last week.
Olivier comes in for new recruit Johann Sadie who left the field just 12 minutes into his Bulls debut last week with a shoulder injury. Although the three-time Super Rugby winner usually plays at inside centre he spent some time in the No.13 jersey during the Currie Cup last year where he looked quite impressive.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke admitted that Olivier's return came at just the right time.
"One always wants to have all your first choice players available, especially against an opponent as tough as the Cheetahs. Wynand is the second most experience player in the side, so we are delighted to have him back.
"We have lost some fine players to injury in the last couple of weeks, so it is great to have one of our international players back and ready for action," he said.
Bulls captain, Pierre Spies commented: "There is always a lot to play for in the local derbies and the Cheetahs will no doubt be one of our toughest opponents of the tournament.
"They have some exciting players, will have massive support for their first home fixture of the season and will be under pressure to get that first win out of the way. We will have to be at our very best to beat them," Spies said.
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 JJ Engelbrecht.
Date: Saturday, March 3
Venue: Free Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Reuben Rossouw (South Africa)
TMO: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)
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