Bulls welcome back Bok duo
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Handré Pollard and Jesse Kriel are back in the Bulls' starting XV for their clash against the Jaguares at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The two Springboks missed last weekend’s unexpected defeat in the Super Rugby tournament against the Sunwolves in Tokyo due to a rest agreement between SA Rugby and the six Super Rugby franchises.
They replace Tian Schoeman and Warrick Gelant, who reverts to the bench.
Coach Nollis Marais not only welcomes back two of his international players, but also has a fit Lodewyk de Jager available. De Jager missed the Tokyo match due to injury, but the former SA Rugby Player of the Year is back to full fitness and replaces Jason Jenkins, who moves down to the bench.
Piet van Zyl, who also missed out on Sunwolves selection due to injury, is fit again and the third change to the backline. He comes in for Rudy Paige at scrumhalf.
Up front, Pierre Schoeman will start at loosehead for the fourth time this season, replacing Lizo Gqoboka.
Former Blue Bulls age group player, Marnus Schoeman (on loan from the Pumas), was named on the bench and could make his Super Rugby and Bulls debut if he takes to the field.
The former Waterkloof High School flank was on loan to the Stormers at the start of the season, but picked up an injury pre-season and missed out on squad selection down in Cape Town.
He now joins a number of old teammates in the set-up.
Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Nick de Jager, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Rudolph Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Martin Dreyer, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Warrick Gelant.
Date: Saturday, April 15
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.30 (17.30 GMT; 14.30 Argentina Time)
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Egon Seconds (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)