Experienced Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen returns to the starting line-up alongside backline players Rosko Specman (wing) and Warrick Gelant (fullback). Apart from the important points at stake, the match will also serve as a farewell to a number of players who are set to leave the Vodacom Bulls at the end of the Vodacom Super Rugby season.
Handre Pollard’s side will be hoping to bag a win at home as their previous two games, against the Blues and Highlanders, have both finished in draws.
On Friday, the Emirates Lions announced four changes to the team that lost 37-17 to the Hurricanes at Ellis Park last weekend, with Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies to start at inside centre in place of Harold Vorster, while Shaun Reynolds is retained at flyhalf.
Tyrone Green gets the nod at right wing in place of Courtnall Skosan, who drops down to the bench.
Among the forwards, Hacjivah Dayimani starts at No 8 where he replaces the injured Kwagga Smith, while Rhyno Herbst comes back in the team to resume his lock partnership with Marvin Orie.
What they said:
Vodacom Bulls head coach Pote Human believes the return of the trio players will freshen up the squad: "We are at a late stage in the competition and anyone coming back into the fray does so with new energy and fresh legs and that is always good. The nice thing about this weekend is that we have our fate in our own hands and do not have to worry about results elsewhere. We can go out and apply our minds to the job at hand."
Vodacom Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant , 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handre Pollard (captain), 9 Andre Warner, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jannes Kirsten, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka. Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Eli Snyman, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.
Emirates Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Elton Jantjies, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx (captain), 1 Dylan Smith. Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Wandisele Simelane, 23 Courtnall Skosan.
Head to head:
Vodacom Bulls won: 12
Emirates Lions won: 6
Vodacom Bulls points: 503
Emirates Lions points: 466
Average score: 26-25
Date: Saturday, 14 June 2019
SA time: 17h15
Venue: Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: Egon Seconds, Stefan Geldenhuys
Television Match Official: Christie du Preez
Other Round 18 fixtures (SA kick off times):
Friday, 14 June
09h35: Highlanders v Waratahs, Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill
11h45: Rebels v Chiefs, AAMI Park, Melbourne
Saturday, 15 June
00h10: Jaguares v Sunwolves, Jose Amalfitani Stadium, Buenos Aires
09h35: Hurricanes v Blues, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
11h45: Brumbies v Reds, GIO Stadium, Canberra