Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke named an experienced outfit to face the DHL Stormers on Friday at Loftus Versfeld in the opening match of the local 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby competition.
Ludeke named two debutants in his starting XV, with Lionel Mapoe and Mornè Mellett set to start at wing and prop respectively, but also named two centurions and a host of players with more than 40 caps.
Mapoe has played 23 matches for the MTN Lions and five for the Toyota Cheetahs before, whilst Mellett toured with the Bulls last year, but did not play in any matches.
Pierre Spies, who captains the side, is one of 11 players who have 40 caps or more at this level.
Three Springboks, Dean Greyling, Akona Ndungane and Jacques Potgieter were not considered due to injury, whilst Emerging Springbok lock Wilhelm Steenkamp is also out of action of another two weeks due to a shoulder injury.
The Vodacom Bulls team (with Super Rugby caps):
Zane Kirchner (71), Lionel Mapoe (28), JJ Engelbrecht (17), Wynand Olivier (103), Bjorn Basson (42), Mornè Steyn (106), Francois Hougaard (45), Pierre Spies (89, c), Dewald Potgieter (54), Deon Stegmann (60), Juandrè Kruger (17), Flip van der Merwe (48),Werner Kruger (75), Chiliboy Ralepelle (52), Mornè Mellett (0). Replacements: Willie Wepener (53), Frik Kirsten (15), Grant Hattingh (9), Arno Botha (10), Jano Vermaak (88), Louis Fouchè (10), Francois Venter (8).