PRETORIA - Bulls coach Nollis Marais has made an 11 change overhaul to his match 23 to play against the Highlanders at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
In addition to the wholesale changes brought on by the 62-24 record home defeat against the Crusaders last weekend, former Junior Springbok captain Hanro Liebenberg will become the youngest Bulls captain in Super Rugby taking over the captaincy from Adriaan Strauss who is suffering from a foot injury.
Liebenberg will start in his familiar place at the base of the scrum in place of Renaldo Bothma who drops out of the match day 23 while Jannes Kirsten and Ruan Steenkamp are also handed starting berths to complete the loose trio.
Springbok lock Lood de Jager drops to the bench with RG Snyman starting in the second row alongside Jason Jenkins while Marais has made two changes to the frontrow with Lizo Gqoboka starting in place of Pierre Schoeman at loosehead prop and Jaco Visagie replacing Strauss at hooker.
There is only one change in the backline with Jade Stighling set to make his Super Rugby debut in place of the injured Travis Ismaiel.
On the bench former Southern Kings hooker Edgar Marutlulle will cover for Visagie while prop Coenraad van Vuuren gets the nod as cover for tighthead and along with flyhalf Tony Jantjies are likely to make their Super Rugby debuts.
Bulls: Warrick Gelant, Jade Stighling, Jesse Kriel, Burger Odendaal, Jamba Ulengo, Tian Schoeman, Piet van Zyl, Hanro Liebenberg (captain), Jannes Kirsten, Ruan Steenkamp, RG Snyman, Jason Jenkins, Trevor Nyakane, Jaco Visagie, Lizo Gqoboka. Replacements: Edgar Marutlulle, Pierre Schoeman, Coenraad van Vuuren, Lood de Jager, Nick de Jager, Rudy Paige, Tony Jantjies, Jan Serfontein.