The Bulls have made wholesale changes to their team in an effort to flip the script on their stumbling start to the Super Rugby season this term.
Having won only one match in four outings to date, it doesn’t get any easier when they front up to the Chiefs in Hamilton tomorrow (8.30am).
After losing 38-14 to the Blues last weekend, coach Nollis Marais dropped the hele se manne.
Rudy Paige comes in for Piet van Zyl at No.9, Arno Botha replaces the injured Hanro Liebenberg at No. 8, Burger Odendaal slots in at centre with Jesse Kriel moving to fullback while Jason Jenkins steps into the second row in place of RG Snyman.
Finally, Pierre Schoeman will play looshead prop instead of Lizo Gqoboka.
Of Botha’s return, Marais says: “He is a proven player at this level and I am very keen to see him contribute in what will be a very physical and robust match.
“Hanro did well so far, but Arno progressed really well after picking up an injury in pre-season, and he will be keen to show why he played Test-match rugby for the Springboks.
“We certainly have a lot to improve. We cannot be proud of that last 40 minutes we produced against the Blues.
“We are a better team than that, and we have an opportunity against a great team to prove that.
“We are not doing justice to ourselves, we are not achieving the targets we set and we are disappointing our supporters.
“That said, this team is certainly good enough, but talk is cheap.
“We need to go out and show that on the field. We could not have picked a more fitting place or opponent to do that than against the Chiefs at home, but we have to show that belief and justify the hard work done.”