Super Rugby preview: Bulls v Kings
Last Updated: 28/06/13 1:52pm
Pierre Spies: The Bulls skipper is out for the rest of the season with a bicep injury
South African conference leaders the Bulls take on the struggling Southern Kings in the Super XV on Saturday.
The Bulls will be aiming to join the Brumbies on 59 points in the overall standings for a share of second place with a bonus-point win.
The Kings, meanwhile, have the worse score difference in Super Rugby by some distance and are rock bottom of the South African conference, only two points from bottom overall.
The Bulls are without captain Pierre Spies after the number eight was ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn bicep picked up playing for South Africa against Samoa.
Dewald Potgieter replaces him in the back row and as captain.
That is just one of eight changes in all with the return of Springbok full-back Zane Kirchner back in the starting XV after a lengthy lay off amongst the most significant.
The Kings will also be without their captain for the foreseeable future after it was revealed that Luke Watson will be out for six months with an ankle injury.
Andries Strauss will lead the team in Walker's absence while Michael Killian returns on the wing and Shaun Venter gets the nod over Nicolas Vergallo at scrum-half.
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Dewald Potgieter (capt), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Juandré Kruger, 19 Jono Ross, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Morné Steyn, 22 JJ Engelbrecht.
Kings: 15 SP Marais, 14 Marcello Sampson, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss (capt), 11 Michael Killian, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Darron Nell, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Grant Kemp, 17 Hannes Franklin, 18 Rynier Bernardo, 19 Devin Oosthuizen, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Shane Gates.
Super Rugby 2013 Round 18
The Bulls all but wrapped up the SA conference after completing a clinical 48-18 victory over the Southern Kings.
A last-gasp try from Riaan Viljoen saw the Sharks beat the Blues 22-20 and dent their visitors' play-off hopes.
Highlanders host wildcard contenders Crusaders in Dunedin on Saturday looking to pick up only their third win.