PRETORIA: Bulls coach Nollis Marais has wasted no time in starting in-form Springbok centres Jan Serfontein and Jesse Kriel in their Super Rugby clash against the Sharks in Durban on Friday.
Serfontein and Kriel starred for the Springboks in their three nil series whitewash over France and cemented themselves as the national team’s midfield pairing going into the Rugby Championship.
Marais will also be starting with Springbok scrumhalf Rudy Paige, who will partner with flyhalf Tony Jantjies, who will be making his first Super Rugby start.
Wing Kefentse Mahlo will make his Super Rugby debut in place of the injured Sibahle Maxwane, while SA ‘A’ star fullback Warrick Gelant will start in the number 15 jersey.
Injuries to Springbok forwards Trevor Nyakane (wrist) and Lood de Jager (groin) have forced Marais into making late changes to his pack, with RG Snyman to start at lock alongside Jason Jenkins, while Conraad van Vuuren will also be making his Super Rugby debut with a start at tighthead.
On the bench, scrumhalf Andre Warner is likely to make his Super Rugby debut if called to play with John-Roy Jenkinson, Renaldo Bothma and Shaun Addendorf the new faces in the side after the team’s loss to the Hurricanes.
Warrick Gelant, Duncan Matthews, Jesse Kriel, Jan Serfontein, Kefentse Mahlo, Tony Jantjies, Rudy Paige, Nic de Jager, Jannes Kirsten, Ruan Steenkamp, RG Snyman, Jason Jenkins, Conraad van Vuuren, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Lizo Gqoboka.
Bench: Jaco Visagie, Pierre Schoeman, John-Roy Jenkinson, Renaldo Bothma, Shaun Adendorff, Andre Warner, Burger Odendaal, Tian Schoeman.