Jaco Visagie and Johnny Kotze will both run out for their 50th Vodacom Super Rugby caps against the Blues when the Vodacom Bulls return to Loftus Versfeld for the first time this season on Saturday, 22 February.
Visagie made his tournament debut for the Vodacom Bulls back in 2015 and has proven to a regular fixture in any given matchday squad while Kotze made his debut in the colours of the DHL Stormers in 2015 before moving north.
Vodacom Bulls head coach, Pote Human, has selected a relatively unchanged team with Wian Vosloo the only new face in the starting lineup. He takes over the no.7 jumper from Abongile Nonkontwana.
The bench sees two changes with Corniel Els and Ruan Steenkamp making their first appearances this season. Els replaces the injured Johan Grobbelaar while Steenkamp takes Vosloo’s place on the bench.
Vodacom Bulls captain, Burger Odendaal, was full of praise for his two teammates and their milestone.
“I’ve played with Jaco and Johnny for several seasons and they’re quality players who deserve this accolade. It’s not an easy feat to achieve 50 caps in Vodacom Super Rugby but their commitment and determination has been the cornerstone of their playing careers. The team already wants to claim a win for our loyal BullsFamily and now we have an added incentive.”
The men from Pretoria will be feeling the pressure as they are yet to register a win in 2020 but will take confidence in their ability as a unit and the fact that out of the nine matches played against the Blues at Loftus Versfeld, they have won six and drawn one.
A record the Vodacom Bulls would like to keep in the positive according to Human.
“We know that we need to win and have done our homework against the Blues with the added bonus of a bye week assisting us. They remain a threat as always but if we can starve them of the ball and make our opportunities stick then that should be enough to secure a valuable win.”
Kick-off is 17:15.
15. Warrick Gelant, 14. Cornal Hendricks, 13. Johnny Kotze, 12. Burger Odendaal (C), 11. Rosko Specman, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Ivan van Zyl, 8. Josh Strauss, 7. Wian Vosloo, 6. Jeandré Rudolph, 5. Juandré Kruger, 4. Andries Ferreira, 3. Trevor Nyakane, 2. Jaco Visagie, 1. Lizo Gqoboka.
16. Corniel Els, 17. Gerhard Steenekamp, 18. Wiehahn Herbst, 19. Ruan Nortje, 20. Ruan Steenkamp, 21. Embrose Papier, 22. Manie Libbok, 23. Divan Rossouw.