JOHANNESBURG - Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane will make his first start for the Bulls this season in their Super Rugby match against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday.
Nyakane is one of four changes to the Bulls starting line-up after their 20-14 loss against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.
Captain and centre Burger Odendaal returns from a rib injury that has seen him miss the last two games in place of Johnny Kotze who drops to the bench.
Another change in the backline sees Divan Rossouw being handed a start on the wing in place of Duncan Matthews with head coach John Mitchell citing Rossouw’s left boot as a tactical advantage for his side.
Flank Thembelani Bholi gets a recall to the team after missing out on last week’s game with Hanro Liebenberg moving to eighthman in place of the injured Nic de Jager.
Junior Springbok Manie Libbok is in line to make his Super Rugby debut if called off the bench while Tim Agaba could also make his first start for the Bulls in Super Rugby if Jason Jenkins fails a late fitness test.
“We are ready to go and show our abilities. For us to win here, our courage and determination will be tested but knowing this squad and the way we are developing as a group, I have enough confidence to know that we will be very competitive on Friday,” Mitchell said.
Bulls team: Warrick Gelant, Travis Ismaiel, Jesse Kriel, Burger Odendaal, Divan Rossouw, Handre Pollard, Andre Warner, Hanro Liebenberg, Thembelani Bholi, Roelof Smit, Lood de Jager, RG Snyman, Trevor Nyakane, Jaco Visagie, Pierre Schoeman. Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, Lizo Gqoboka, Conraad van Vuuren, Jason Jenkins/Tim Agaba, Marco van Staden, Embrose Papier, Manie Libbok, Johnny Kotze.