Jesse Kriel has been one of the standout performers for the Bulls. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Marvin Orie

As one of the leaders in the tight-five the 26-year-old needs to find the form that made him one of the standout players in the early rounds.

By taking over the jersey regularly worn by the now departed Franco Mostert, Orie has to not only win his lineout ball, but also be the key carrier up front.

There’s nothing wrong with his tackle stats, but today against Wallaby Sam Carter, Orie has it all to do.

The Brumbies number five is second in the standings for lineouts won, while Orie is in fourth spot, so a huge battle awaits in their helping their teams secure quality, and crucial, set-piece ball.

Marvin Orie will be key for the Lions. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Johannes Jonker

Injuries have played havoc with Jonker’s progression since he joined the Lions, but he gets a golden opportunity today to show what he can do.

With Ruan Dreyer no longer at the Lions, the team were looking for a suitable replacement and rookie loan player from the Cape, Carlu Sadie, stepped up.

But he is being rested today which affords the highly-rated 24-year-old Jonker an opportunity to stand up and anchor the scrum.

And it doesn’t get bigger than going up against veteran Wallaby man Scott Sio.

One area the Brumbies pride themselves in is their scrumming so Jonker has a huge responsibility on his shoulders today.

Thomas du Toit

With Springbok needs requiring the Sharks to rest two Bok props in Coenie Oosthuizen and Tendai Mtawarira, incoming Thomas the Tank needs to be at full throttle against the Jaguares.

The Sharks’ scrum has been chugging along nicely this season and was exceptional last week against the Lions, which allowed for quality ball for a brilliant back line.

The backs will want more of the same this afternoon, and the likes of Thomas must provide.

The Jaguares scrum has the lowest success rate in the competition, so the Sharks will target this area. A Springbok himself, the 23-year-old will also want to state his case.

Philip van der Walt

“Flippie” is starting his first match of the season after returning from Japan in December with a thigh injury.

The tough flank has looked good in two cameos off the bench over the last fortnight and is now primed for full-scale action.

Van der Walt is taking over from workhorse Jacques Vermeulen, who has emptied his tank for his team this year in the absence of Van der Walt and Jean-Luc du Preez, and he needs to exhibit the work ethic that has made him such a valued player.

The former Cheetah is 29 now and vastly experienced, and his leadership in tough times his highly regarded by his teammates.

RG Snyman

Snyman will be making his season debut on Saturday but as a Bulls lock it would be an accomplishment to make it through a Super Rugby match unscathed.

The lock turnover at Loftus has been off the charts with Lood de Jager, Eli Snyman and Jason Jenkins all suffering varying degrees of injury.

Snyman will be looking to hit the ground running as he makes his return from injury and heads straight for the coalface.

The Bulls will rely on Snyman to run the lineouts and get them some good quality attacking ball from the set-piece.

RG Snyman will make his season debut for the Bulls. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/Backpagepix

Jesse Kriel

The Springbok centre has been one of the shining lights for the Bulls this season, playing some of the best rugby of the last two years.

Kriel and Lukhanyo Am have been the two pace-setting outside centres in the country as they look to stake a claim for the position in the Springbok team ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

He will be relishing the opportunity of facing the quality centre combination of childhood friends Chris Feauai-Sautia and Samu Kerevi.

Should the Reds get good front-foot ball Kriel and his midfield partner Burger Odendaal could have a busy day in defence.


Independent on Saturday

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