PRETORIA – In a desperate move to try to change their fortunes on tour, Bulls coach Nollis Marais made five changes to his team to play against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.
Springbok Jesse Kriel makes a positional switch from outside centre to fullback in place of Warrick Gelant while Burger Odendaal will start at inside centre and Jan Serfontein shifts to the number 13 jersey.
Springbok scrumhalf Rudy Paige returns to the starting line-up in place of Piet van Zyl who drops to the bench after last week’s loss against the Blues in Auckland.
Marais has only made one change to his loose trio combination with Arno Botha starting his first game for the season at number eight in place of the injured Hanro Liebenberg, while in the second row RG Snyman replaces Jason Jenkins.
Pierre Schoeman also returns to the starting line-up at loosehead prop in place of Lizo Gqoboka in a rotational move.
Marais says the team understand and accept the position they are in at the moment after losing three of their four matches so far this season but they are still confident of turning their fortunes around on Saturday against the Chiefs.
“Obviously nobody gives us a chance to beat the Chiefs and at the moment we accept that. Our last few performances don’t indicate that we are in good form but there is a lot of confidence in the side and we are looking forward to the weekend,” he said.
“We know where we stand as a team and what we need to do to be better. The guys take responsibility and we know that we have won one out of four games and they know what is needed from them.
“We believe that any team can beat any team over the weekend and although nobody will give us a chance over the weekend we must just go out and play. There is a lot of belief in the side and I am not going to put the guys under a lot of pressure by saying a lot of negative things.”
Bulls team: Jesse Kriel, Travis Ismaiel, Jan Serfontein, Burger Odendaal, Jamba Ulengo, Handré Pollard, Rudy Paige, Arno Botha, Nick de Jager, Ruan Steenkamp, Lood de Jager, RG Snyman, Trevor Nyakane, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Pierre Schoeman. Replacements: Edgar Marutlulle, Lizo Gqoboka, Jacobie Adriaanse, Jason Jenkins, Jannes Kirsten, Piet van Zyl, Tian Schoeman, Warrick Gelant.