Jan Serfontein will start on the bench against The Sharks on Saturday after Louis Fouche failed a late fitness test.
Meanwhile Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said his team realised pulling off an away victory in Durban will not be easy, but it will significantly boost their chances of winning the SA conference.
“It is a vital game for us,” said Ludeke. “The Sharks are fresh and back at home and we know they are going to have a huge go at us, so it’s vital for us to be at our best.”
As the captain last year when the Vodacom Bulls got a big hiding in Durban, by 32-10, Pierre Spies knows Saturday’s game will be no walk in the park, despite The Sharks struggling to get good results in the last month or so.
“It’s always tough against the Sharks. They scored a vital last win on tour to get their campaign back on track, while it’s always difficult to play them in Durban,” said Spies.
Vodacom Bulls wing Bjorn Basson will earn his 50th Vodacom Super Rugby cap in Durban on Saturday – he has played nine for the Toyota Cheetahs and 40 for the team from Pretoria.
Jano Vermaak plays his 100th Super Rugby match.
The teams are:
The Sharks: Riaan Viljoen, Odwa Ndungane, Piet Lindeque, Meyer Bosman, Lwazi Mvovo, Pat Lambie, Charl McLeod, Keegan Daniel (captain), Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Franco van der Merwe, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jannie du Plessis, Kyle Cooper, Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: Monde Hadebe, Wiehahn Herbst, Jandré Marais, Jean Deysel, Lubabalo Mtembu, Tian Meyer, Sean Robinson.
Vodacom Bulls: Jürgen Visser, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Wynand Olivier, Bjorn Basson, Morné Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies (captain), Dewald Potgieter, Deon Stegmann, Juandré Kruger, Flip van der Merwe, Frik Kirsten, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dean Greyling. Replacements: Willie Wepener, Werner Kruger, Grant Hattingh, Arno Botha, Jano Vermaak, Jan Serfontein, Lionel Mapoe.
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Reuben Rossouw (South Africa)
Television match official: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)