Bulls Super rugby head coach Pote Human has named his team to play the Jaguares and included Warrick Gelant for his 50th Super Rugby cap this weekend.,
The high flying fullback made his debut against the Stormers back in 2016 and has scored 15 tries for the Pretoria based team.
Regular captain, Burger Odendaal, has been ruled out with an ankle injury which makes space for Tongan centre Nafi Tuitavake to make his Bulls debut.
The fleet footed Tuitavake is no stranger to Super Rugby as he amassed 20 caps for the Crusaders after making his tournament debut in 2014 before plying his trade in Europe for several seasons.
There is one change and two positional changes amongst the forwards with Marco van Staden packing down at openside flank while Jeandré Rudolph and Josh Strauss shift around the loose trio with Strauss slotting in at blindside flank and Rudolph donning the no.8 jumper.
The backline is tweaked slightly with Embrose Papier earning his first start of the season and Johnny Kotze moving to inside centre to make space for Tuitavake. The bench remains unchanged.
Bulls captain, Trevor Nyakane, congratulated Gelant on his milestone and welcomed Tuitavake into the fold.
“The team could not be happier for Warrick. He is a quality player as evident by his World Cup medal but more than that he is a great person. His work ethic and smile are infectious and we are proud to call him a teammate.”
“It is a special occasion when any player pulls on a Bulls jersey for the first time so we know Nafi is not only excited but also slightly nervous. It has been sometime since he played in Super Rugby but he has been explosive in training so we’re excited to see what Nafi brings to the table.”
Head coach, Pote Human, has drawn a line in the sand in terms of his expectations from the team come kick-off on Saturday.
“Our backs could not be more against the wall at the moment. We have made improvements since the first match but we’re still not doing enough within 80 minutes. We need to get the result.”
The Jaguares have made nine personnel changes and two positional swaps to their run-on XV their game against the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.
In a complete overhaul of his backline, coach Gonzalo Quesada has brought in internationals Santiago Carreras, Matias Moroni, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Joaquin Diaz Bonilla and Gonzalo Bertranou.
Carreras is at fullback, Moroni and captain De la Fuente form the new midfield combination, Diaz Bonilla is the flyhalf and Bertranou is at scrumhalf.
The only surviving backline players from last week’s team are Sebastian Cancellierre, who moves from left to right wing and Emiliano Boffelli, who switches from No 15 to left wing.
In the pack, Marcos Kremer and Guido Petti are elevated into the starting team as the lock pairing, while Joel Sclavi is the new tighthead prop and Julian Montoya the preferred hooker for this week.
The Bulls have played the Jaguares 6 times in Super rugby since 2016 and the Bulls have won 2 matches and lost 4.
The Bulls 2 wins out of 6 matches gives them a record of winning 33% of their matches against the Jaguares regardless of venue.
This weekend the match will be played in Pretoria which is home for the Bulls and the city where the teams have met 3 times.
In those 3 matches played in Pretoria, the Bulls have won 1 matches and lost 1. This gives the Bulls a record of winning 66.7% of their matches against the Jaguares at home.
The average score when the Bulls play the Jaguares in Pretoria is : Bulls 30 Jaguares 23.
The Jaguares won the last match against the Bulls in Pretoria but the Bulls won the two matches prior to that.
Average score: Bulls 23 Jaguares 30
Last five results
Sat, 06 Apr 2019 Bulls 20-22 Jaguares @Pretoria
Sat, 23 Feb 2019 Bulls 12-27 Jaguares @Buenos Aires
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 Bulls 43-34 Jaguares @Pretoria
Sat, 19 May 2018 Bulls 24-54 Jaguares @Buenos Aires
Sat, 15 Apr 2017 Bulls 26-13 Jaguares @Pretoria
Bulls overall record against the Jaguares
Played 6 , Wins 2, Losses 4, Draws 0
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Nafi Tuitavake, 12 Johnny Kotze, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Jeandre Rudolph, 7 Josh Strauss, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Trevor Nyakane (captain), 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw
15 Santiago Carreras, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente (c), 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Rodrigo Bruni, 7 Tomas Lezana, 6 Francisco Gorrissen, 5 Marcos Kremer, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Joel Sclavi, 2 Julian Montoya, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Marco Viyas, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Lucas Paulos, 20 Bautista Pedemonte, 21 Domingo Miotti, 22 Juan Cruz Mallia, 23 Santiago Chocobares.
Match Officials and details
Date : Saturday 29 February
Venue : Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick Off local: 17:15
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1:AJ Jacobs Assistant Ref 2:Griffin Colby
TMO :Marius Jonker