Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke named Sampie Mastriet on the wing and Dewald Potgieter as No 8 in his team to play Cell C Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Both players will make their first appearance in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament this year. Mastriet comes into the team in place of Akona Ndungane after a highly productive stint with the Springbok Sevens team and Potgieter joined up with the team following a season with his Japanese club Yamaha Jubilo and will take the place of Jono Ross.
Ndungane is still on humanitarian leave following the passing of his father last week, whilst Ludeke opted for the 66 Super Rugby caps experience of Potgieter at the base of the scrum.
Ross moves the bench, with Jacques Engelbrecht missing out in the only other change to the match 23.
“We have always maintained that you need a squad to win this competition and I am pretty please about the depth we have in ours,” Ludeke said.
“Sampie has shown tremendous form with the Springbok Sevens team and brings a lot of pace into the backline and Dewald has test match experience on top of being part of our system for many years. It is very pleasing to have them in the squad.”
Vodacom Bulls captain Flip van der Merwe said the recent upsurge in form is something the team is keen to continue with.
“Our first two away outings were pretty disappointing and everyone stepped up after that. We are keen to continue with the positive way we performed against the Lions and Blues. The Sharks are not topping the log for nothing, but we have prepared well for this one. We will be ready,” Van der Merwe said.
Vodacom Bulls team (with Super Rugby caps): 15 Jurgen Visser (15), 14 Sampie Mastriet (1), 13 JJ Engelbrecht (37), 12 Jan Serfontein (16), 11 Bjorn Basson (59), 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter (44), 9 Francois Hougaard (60), 8 Dewald Potgieter (66), 7 Jacques du Plessis (5), 6 Deon Stegmann (76), 5 Victor Matfield (128), 4 Flip van der Merwe (67, Captain), 3 Werner Kruger (96), 2 Callie Visagie (27), 1 Dean Greyling (42) Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi (5), 17 Morné Mellett (13), 18 Marcel van der Merwe (7), 19 Paul Willemse (8), 20 Jono Ross (8), 21 Piet van Zyl (35), 22 Handré Pollard (3), 23 Ulrich Beyers (4).
- Victor Matfield will extend his South African record for Vodacom Super Rugby appearances in the competition.
- Francois Hougaard is one try away from 100 Vodacom Super Rugby points.