VIDEO: Bulls loading up on Boks for Sharks
VIDEO: Bulls loading up on Boks for SharksSHARE
The Bulls return to action after a bye week, while the Sharks have just returned from a four-match Australasian tour.
Springbok lock Lodewyk de Jager has recovered from the calf strain that sidelined him from the win over the Stormers in Round Seven.
He started training with the team on Monday and is available for selection.
Rudolph Snyman has recovered from the fractured cheekbone he suffered in the tour match against the Chiefs.
Snyman also started training with the team and will be available for selection.
Ruan Steenkamp – coming back from knee surgery – also started training on Monday, but is not yet available for selection.
Wing Jamba Ulengo, who earlier this year feared his career might be over, has finally recovered from his knee surgery and also started training on Monday.
However, he is also not available for selection.
Jannes Kirsten suffered a complication after surgery for a nerve injury at end of last year. It is still uncertain exactly when he will be back and it is expected he will be sidelined for at least another three to four weeks.
Travis Ismaiel picked up a back disk 'niggle' and will be sidelined for this week and probably next week.
Nick de Jager is still recovering from rib fracture he suffered in the loss to the Reds on tour. He will be consulting with a specialist and won't be available this week.
The Sharks will be a tough test for the Bulls, as they grew incrementally better as their tour progressed.
They were disappointing in Australia against the Brumbies and the Rebels, but then flicked a mental switch in Auckland to smash the Blues.
Then at the weekend, they came within a whisker of upsetting the Hurricanes in Napier, losing 37-38.
In the South African conference, the Sharks (14 points) are second to the Lions (25), but have a game in hand over the Johannesburg-based team, who are also still to tour Australasia.
Having said that, the fourth-placed Bulls (nine points) have played one game less than the Sharks, and two less than the Lions, and with a series of home derbies coming up, the SA Conference could change.