Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar welcomes back a fit-again Francois Venter to his midfield ahead of their Absa Currie Cup clash against Toyota Free State Cheetahs and will give Jacques Engelbrecht a first start in the blue jersey.
Venter replaces Ulrich Beyers, who move to the bench while Engelbrecht swops places with Jacques du Plessis in a team that shows three changes to the starting line-up.
Injured Mornè Mellett is replaced by Marcel van der Merwe, who will face the team he played for last year for the first time.
Veteran wing Akona Ndungane will play in his 50th Absa Currie Cup match for the Vodacom Blue Bulls.
“We cannot afford any slip-ups or soft moments any more if we want to stay in contention for the Currie Cup,” Pienaar said on Wednesday.
“We have shown signs of progress, but too often we allowed our opponents to force their game plan on us. Against the Cheetahs we need to be focused on playing the game our style and at our tempo.”
The Vodacom Blue Bulls team is: Jürgen Visser, Sampie Mastriet, Waylon Murray, Francois Venter, Akona Ndungane, Handré Pollard, Ruan Snyman, Jono Ross (c), Jacques Engelbrecht, Wiaan Liebenberg, Grant Hattingh, Paul Willemse, Frik Kirsten, Mbongeni Mbonambi, Marcel van der Merwe. Replacements: Bandise Maku, Werner Kruger, David Bulbring, Jacques du Plessis, Rudy Paige, Ulrich Beyers, Clayton Blommetjies/Tiaan Schoeman