‘We all know what Victor is capable of. He showed in training and in our friendly match that he is still right up there among the best and I am confident that he will make a telling contribution when called upon,’ said Bulls coach Frans Ludeke.
New Springbok recruit Piet van Zyl and SA age group level star Handré Pollard join Matfield among the reserves.
8 members of the team running were in the side that lost in the final seconds of last year’s semi-final to the Brumbies (coached by current Sharks coach Jake White).
Bulls – 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Victor Matfield, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Ulrich Beyers.