There will action aplenty among the four South African United Rugby Championship (URC) franchises who will be battling it out for the second week in a row on Saturday in Johannesburg and Durban.

The Lions, the Bulls, the Stormers and the Sharks will be looking to build momentum and force their way up the standings after the postponement of a few fixtures at the end of 2021 due to the omicron variant.

The Lions host the Bulls in a Jukskei derby in Johannesburg in the first match of Saturday at 3pm and this will be followed by a clash between the Sharks and the Stormers in Durban at 5.30pm.

The Lions will be hunting for their third victory of the season against their Pretoria neighbours, while the Sharks will be out to build on their good start to the year when they host the Stormers at Kings Park.

The Johannesburgers will take comfort from the fact that they scored five tries against the Sharks last week despite their defeat and they will look to build on that impressive attacking form.

Lions VS Bulls

Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen has named Springbok Willem Alberts in the second row for their United Rugby Championship (URC) clash against the Bulls at Ellis Park.

Alberts replaces Pieter Jansen van Vuren, who suffered a pectoral muscle injury during training this week.

This means that means former Junior Springbok Ruan Venter, fresh from Carling Currie Cup duty recently, could get an opportunity off the bench in the eagerly anticipated Jukskei Derby.

For the visitors, Canan Moodie will be the latest Bulls player to make his United Rugby Championship debut.

The 19-year-old, who was vice-captain of the Bulls U20 side last year, will be earn a starting berth on the wing at the Emirates Airline Park and will be the only uncapped player in the starting fifteen.

Moodie will be surrounded by a wealth of experience in the Bulls backline which will see veteran Springbok flyhalf, Morné Steyn returning to the starting team alongside scrumhalf Embrose Papier.

The midfield pairing will consist of Harold Vorster and Lionel Mapoe, Kurt-Lee Arendse will start at fullback with Madosh Tambwe at left wing.

Marcell Coetzee will also be back to lead the side after coming off the bench in last weekend’s match against the Stormers.

The front row will see a change with the props as Simphiwe Matanzima dons the No1 jersey and Jacques van Rooyen starts at tighthead prop, with Johan Grobbelaar retaining the No2 jumper.

Pick: Bulls Wins by 0.30 at BetXChange

Sharks VS Stormers

Sharks head coach Sean Everitt announced the team to face the Stormers and he has made only two changes to the side that defeated the Lions last week.

Everitt brought back Springbok duo of Siya Kolisi and Bongi Mbonambi to the starting line-up with the rest of the match 23 unchanged.

Kolisi and Mbonambi return to play against their former side, with the Springbok captain replacing James Venter on the side of the scrum and the hooker starting for Kerron van Vuuren.

On the side of the Stormers, coach John Dobson was forced by injury into making two changes to the forward pack.

Elsewhere, lock Salmaan Moerat (knee) and No.8 Evan Roos (minor rib injury) have both been ruled out, with Adre Smith and Hacjivah Dayimani coming in to replace them in the starting line-up.

The only change to the backline sees Angelo Davids start on the right wing, loose forwards Nama Xaba and Marcel Theunissen both come onto the replacements bench, having impressed in the Carling Currie Cup.

Pick: Sharks Wins by 0.30 at BetXChange


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