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Springbok centre Jan Serfontein returns to the Vodacom Bulls side as one of several changes to the line-up for their first home match of the season, on Friday evening at Loftus Versfeld against the Sunwolves. The Pretoria clash is the first of three local Vodacom Super Rugby matches scheduled for this weekend.

The Vodacom Bulls, back at their familiar surroundings in Pretoria, are looking to register their first win of the campaign after suffering two away defeats, against the DHL Stormers and Toyota Cheetahs respectively, before last weekend’s bye.

Former Springbok captain Adriaan Strauss is another major inclusion in the Vodacom Bulls’ match 23 against the Far East visitors. Strauss is set to make his first playing appearance since his last outing for the Springboks against Wales in November last year. He has now fully recovered from a back operation and is set to get first taste of action this year should he take the field as replacement.

The Sunwolves are playing in their second successive away game on South African soil and the Japanese side will seek to repeat their competitive performance of last weekend in Bloemfontein, when they pushed the Free State side right until the end.

On Saturday the Emirates Lions host the Reds at 17h15 in Johannesburg. A much-changed Joburg side came unstuck against a resolute Jaguares outfit last week in Buenos Aires, however, coach Johan Ackermann has selected a more familiar looking side for the Reds encounter.Springbok lock Franco Mostert will run out to earn his 50th Vodacom Super Rugby cap for the team from Johannesburg against the Queenslanders at Emirates Airline Park. The 26-year-old made his competition debut in 2014 in the red and white jersey against the Toyota Cheetahs.
Thereafter the action moves to Durban where the Cell C Sharks are seeking to continue their impressive early season form in their clash with the Southern Kings. The match starts at 19h30 and the Durban side will be without regular skipper, Pat Lambie, who sustained a back injury in last Saturday’s convincing win over the Waratahs.

Twenty year-old flyhalf Benhard Janse van Rensburg is set to make his Vodacom Super Rugby debut after he was included in the starting fifteen. Curwin Bosch, the former SA Schools and Junior Springbok star that did so well last week after coming on as replacement for Lambie, is now playing fullback.

It will be a special occasion for Kings wing Alshaun Bock, who will make his Vodacom Super Rugby debut on the left wing at the age of 34.
Boosted by their third round win over the Emirates Lions, the powerful Jaguares side will fancy their chances against the visiting Toyota Cheetahs. The two sides meet at 21h40 on Saturday (SA time) in the Velez Sarsfield Stadium in Buenos Aires.
The Toyota Cheetahs have selected scrumhalf Tian Meyer as captain, replacing hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld, who captained them in their first three games of the season while regular skipper Francois Venter is still recovering from his ankle injury.
Before kick-off of the SA derby match between the Cell C Sharks and the Southern Kings, the two team captains will present a commemorative rugby ball to a member of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation in support of Anti-Racism Week 2017. The week takes place between 14 – 21 March, concluding on International Human Rights Day (21 March).

Vodacom Super Rugby Resources:

Vodacom Bulls v Sunwolves

Vodacom Bulls: 15. Warrick Gelant, 14. Travis Ismaiel, 13. Jan Serfontein, 12. Burger Odendaal, 11. Jamba Ulengo, 10. Handré Pollard (captain), 9. Piet van Zyl, 8. Hanro Liebenberg, 7. Renaldo Bothma, 6. Ruan Steenkamp, 5. Lood de Jager, 4. Jason Jenkins, 3. Trevor Nyakane, 2. Edgar Marutlulle, 1. Pierre Schoeman. Replacements: 16. Adriaan Strauss, 17. Lizo Gqoboka, 18. Jacobie Adriaanse, 19. Rudolph Snyman, 20. Jannes Kirsten, 21. Ivan van Zyl, 22. Tian Schoeman, 23. Jesse Kriel.

Sunwolves: 15. Shota Emi, 14. Takaaki Nakazuru, 13. Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, 12. Timothy Lafaele, 11. Kenki Fukuoka, 10. Hayden Cripps, 9. Keisuke Uchida, 8. Willie Britz, 7. Shumei Matsuhashi, 6. Ed Quirk (captain), 5. Uwe Helu, 4. Sam Wykes, 3. Yasuo Yamaji, 2. Yusuke Niwai, 1. Koki Yamamoto. Replacements: 16. Atsushi Sakate, 17. Masataka Mikami, 18. Heiichiro Ito, 19. Liaki Moli, 20. Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 21. Kaito Shigeno, 22. Jumpei Ogura, 23. Ryohei Yamanaka.

Match information:
Date: Friday, 17 March
SA Time: 19h00
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser, Stuart Berry
Television match official: Willie Vos

Emirates Lions v Reds

Emirates Lions: 15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Madosh Tambwe, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Warren Whiteley (captain), 7. Ruan Ackermann, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Andries Ferreira, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Malcolm Marx, 1. Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements: 16. Robbie Coetzee, 17. Dylan Smith, 18. Johannes Jonker, 19. Lourens Erasmus, 20. Kwagga Smith, 21. Ross Cronje, 22. Jaco van der Walt, 23. Harold Vorster.

Reds: TBA

Match information:
Date: Saturday, 18 March
SA Time: 17h15
Venue: Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant referees: Jamie Nutbrown, Stuart Berry
Television match official: Willie Vos

Cell C Sharks v Southern Kings

Cell C Sharks: 15. Curwin Bosch, 14. Kobus van Wyk, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Odwa Ndungane, 10. Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Tera Mtembu (captain), 7. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Jacques Vermeulen, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Stephan Lewies, 3. Lourens Adriaanse, 2. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1. Thomas du Toit. Replacements: 16. Stephan Coetzee, 17. Juan Schoeman, 18. John-Hubert Meyer, 19. Etienne Oosthuizen, 20. Daniel du Preez, 21. Michael Claassens, 22. Jeremy Ward, 23. Garth April.

Southern Kings: 15. Masixole Banda, 14. Makazole Mapimpi, 13. Berton Klaasen, 12. Waylon Murray, 11. Alshaun Bock, 10. Lionel Cronje, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Ruaan Lerm, 7. Andisa Ntsila, 6. Chris Cloete, 5. Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4. Irne Herbst, 3. Ross Geldenhuys, 2. Michael Willemse, 1. Schalk Ferreira (captain). Replacements: 16. Kurt Haupt, 17. Schalk van der Merwe, 18. Justin Forwood, 19. Tyler Paul, 20. Stefan Willemse, 21. Johan Steyn, 22. Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23. Johann Tromp.

Match information:
Date: Saturday, 18 March
SA Time: 19h30
Venue: Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Cwengile Jadezweni
Television match official: Christie du Preez

Jaguares v Toyota Cheetahs

Jaguares: TBA

Toyota Cheetahs: 15. Clayton Blommetjies, 14. Rayno Benjamin, 13. Michael van der Spuy, 12. Clinton Swart, 11. Ruan van Rensburg, 10. Niel Marais, 9. Tian Meyer (captain), 8. Niell Jordaan, 7. Oupa Mohoje, 6. Henco Venter, 5. Francois Uys, 4. Armandt Koster, 3. Tom Botha, 2. Elandre Huggett, 1. Danie Mienie. Replacements: 16. Joseph Dweba, 17. Charles Marais, 18. Johan Coetzee, 19. Carl Wegner, 20. Paul Schoeman, 21. William Small-Smith/Boom Prinsloo, 22. Shaun Venter, 23. Fred Zeilinga.

Match information:
Date: Saturday, 18 March
SA Time: 21h40
Venue: Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant referees: Nick Briant, Pablo Deluca
Television match official: Santiago Borsani

Other fixtures (SA kick-off times):

Friday, 17 March:
08h45: Crusaders v Blues (Christchurch)
10h45: Rebels v Chiefs (Melbourne)

Saturday, 18 March:
08h35: Hurricanes v Highlanders (Wellington)
10h35: Waratahs v Brumbies (Sydney)

Byes: Force, DHL Stormers

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