Carling Currie Cup swings back into action on Wednesday after a break of two weeks with three back-to-back clashes in Kimberley, Pretoria and Durban as the competition begins to take shape.
The action starts with the Griquas hosting the Pumas in Kimberley, the Cheetahs traveling north to face the Bulls and the last match of this round sees the Sharks against Western Province at Kings Park Stadium in Durban.
The Lions are not in action this Wednesday as they have a bye.
In the opening two rounds of action, the Bulls surged to the top of the standings with a big win in Cape Town, while the Pumas and Sharks registered their first log points of the new season.
Bulls VS Cheetahs
Bulls coach Gert Smal has announced an exciting side to take on the Cheetahs during their Currie Cup encounter at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday night.
Smal went with a team boasting balance of youth and experience which will see the centre pairing of Cornal Hendricks captaining the side.
Hendricks will be partnered with Stedman Gans in the backline while winger Stravino Jacobs is making a return to the starting fifteen.
Elsewhere, teenage flanker Cameron Hanekom will earn a starting berth at blindside flank where he will partner up with WJ Steenkamp on the openside with Muller Uys coming in at No8.
The Bulls will also unleash a solid starting front row which includes Gerhard Steenekamp at loosehead prop, Robert Hunt on the other side of the scrum and Schalk Erasmus starting in the No2 jumper.
For the visitors, Springbok winger Rosko Specman is back in the Cheetahs’ starting team against his former team.
Specman joins a Cheetahs backline that has an increasing number of experienced players in the form of captain Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn.
Pick: Bulls Wins by 0.50 at BetXChange
Griquas VS Pumas
Griquas will be without their experienced halfback pair of scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer and flyhalf George Whitehead for their home clash against the Pumas.
Their replacements, Theo Boshoff and Raegan Oranje, are two of four changes made to the side, mainly due to injury in this match that will be the first home outing for the Kimberley outfit after playing two away games.
Meanwhile, the Pumas have announced just one tweak from the team that dismantled the Sigma Lions in their previous outing two weeks ago.
Jade Stighling was handed the No 11 jersey in a rotational switch with Lundi Msenge.
Matches between these two sides are usually close-fought affairs, with the teams playing to a 13-13 draw and a four-point win for the Lowvelders in their 2021 fixtures.
Pick: Pumas Wins by 0.50 at BetXChange
Sharks VS Western Province
Sharks will be going all out for keep a good track record at home at Kings Park against Western Province in the Coastal derby.
Marius Louw will lead a relatively experienced Sharks side that bolstered by the inclusion of eighthman Sikhumbuzo Notshe who makes a welcome return to the playing field after suffering a knee injury in May last year that required surgery.
Coach Etienne Fynn will be without new recruit Eduan Keyter, who made his debut against Griquas in the opening match of the competition, due to long-term injury.
His place on the wing is taken by Marnus Potgieter who shone for the Sharks in their overseas leg of the United Rugby Championship.
For the visitors, flyhalf Tim Swiel will captain Western Province in their first away encounter of the season.
Swiel partners with experienced scrumhalf Godlen Masimla, with Mnombo Zwelendaba starting at outside centre, and there is an all-new back three with Sergeal Petersen at fullback and Leolin Zas and Andre Manuel on the wings.
Pick: Sharks Wins by 0.45 at BetXChange