Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke included a fit-again Flip van der Merwe to face the Crusaders in Christchurch in their Vodacom Super Rugby qualifier on Saturday. The lock recovered from a hip strain.
Ludeke named a side with multiple Super Rugby medal winners to face the Canterbury side, another team with a strong Super Rugby legacy.
Van der Merwe returns to his regular berth at the expense of Wilhelm Steenkamp, who returns to the bench, where CJ Stander drops out of the match 22 in the only changes from the squad that beat the MTN Lions last weekend.
Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, Wynand Olivier, Mornè Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies, Dewald Potgieter, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle and Dean Greyling were all part of previous Bulls squads that have won the title in 2007, 2009 and 2010, but have not played in a qualifier before as the Bulls missed out on a play-off spot when it was introduced for the first time in the competition last year.
The Vodacom Bulls team is: Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Wynand Olivier, Bjorn Basson, Mornè Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies, Dewald Potgieter, Jacques Potgieter, Juandrè Kruger, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dean Greyling. Replacements: Willie Wepener, Frik Kirsten, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Deon Stegmann, Jano Vermaak, Louis Fouchè, Francois Venter.