Chris Smith in for Morne Steyn, Nizaam Carr for Marco van Staden and Jan Uys for Janko Swanepoel – those are the significant changes to the Bulls team from last week for their Rainbow Cup final against Benetton in Treviso, Italy, on Saturday.
Steyn and Van Staden are unavailable because of Springbok duty, while Swanepoel moves to the bench for the big north-south final.
The rest of the side is unchanged from last week’s match against the Sharks, which the Bulls won to secure their spot in the final.
Marcell Coetzee will again lead the side, as he’s done ever since regular captain Duane Vermeulen was ruled out of action because of an ankle injury.
The Bulls have been boosted with the inclusion on the bench of prop Lizo Gqoboka and livewire No 9 Zak Burger.
“Even though it’s such a huge honour to be part of this historic game, we must remember that we are here on a mission… a mission to return to South Africa with the Rainbow Cup,” said Bulls boss Jake White.
“I’ve asked the boys to enjoy every moment of this experience, as they have worked really hard and been committed to our goals.
“Being in this final is the first part of their reward, lifting the trophy will be their ultimate reward. Benetton is a great team, and have been in amazing form this season and it is a privilege going up against them in the final.”
Italian outfit Benetton went unbeaten in their northern section – the Pro14 competition. This is the Bulls’ first trip to Italy and the two sides have never met before in any tournament.
Bulls: David Kriel, Madosh Tambwe, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Cornal Hendricks, Stravino Jacobs, Chris Smith, Ivan van Zyl, Marcell Coetzee (capt), Ruan Nortje, Nizaam Carr, Jan Uys, Walt Steenkamp, Mornay Smith, Johan Grobbelaar, Gerhard Steenekamp. Bench: Schalk Erasmus, Jacques van Rooyen, Lizo Gqoboka, Janko Swanepoel, Muller Uys, Zak Burger, Clinton Swart, Gio Aplon