Double change for Bulls

Bulls coach Nollis Marais made two changes to his starting team that will play their final round match of the Super Rugby competition against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Tian Schoeman will start at fly-half for the Pretoria team, while Marcel van der Merwe will begin at tighthead prop. Both players started off the bench against the Sunwolves last weekend and swop places with Francois Brummer and Werner Kruger respectively.

There is one other change on the bench, with Bandise Maku coming in for Jaco Visagie.

“We want to finish this phase with some momentum,” Marais said.

"This group developed nicely this season and I am happy about the progress we have shown. It may very well be a final opportunity for a number of players to represent the Vodacom Bulls and I expect a very positive effort from them.”

Captain Adriaan Strauss knows that Bloemfontein will be a hostile environment: "The Cheetahs will try to finish strong, but so will we. We owe it to ourselves to deliver a performance we all can be proud of. If we fall short in making the play-offs, we only have ourselves to blame, but it will not be because of a lack of trying in our final game.”

Strauss will on Saturday become the most capped South African hooker in the Super Rugby competition. Strauss, playing in his 132 match, will surpass Bismarck du Plessis, who played 131 times as hooker. He will also move into third spot for all time appearances behind Victor Matfield (148) and Jannie du Plessis (145).

Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Travis Ismaiel, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Nqoba Mxoli, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 SP Marais

Date: Saturday, July 16
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 19:15 local (17:15 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)