The Bulls have named an unchanged squad for their Super Rugby match against the Crusaders at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke could name the same starting line-up for the third week in a row and with clarity on Willie Wepener's injury now available, again picked Bongi Mbonambi as back-up hooker.
"Willie is suffering from a virus that attacks his facial nerves and will be out of action for between three weeks and even up to three months."
"It is a great pity for him, but unfortunately there is no instant cure. We back Bongi to be an able replacement as he is a product of our junior structures. "
Mbonambi could earn a first ever Super Rugby cap if he gets a run. The 21 year old is a regular starter in the Blue Bulls Cup team.
Ludeke said his side will have to beat the Crusaders if they want to stay in the hunt.
"This is a very important one for us. A win would sustain momentum and our hard work, but a defeat could see us on the wrong side of the log."
"They are a team full of World Cup winning All Blacks, so we will have to be at our very best."
Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane , Johann Sadie, Wynand Olivier, Bjorn Basson, Morne Steyn ,Francois Hougaard , Pierre Spies (c), Jacques Potgieter , CJ Stander , Juandre Kruger , Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger , Chiliboy Ralepelle , Dean Greyling.
Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi , Frik Kirsten , Wilhelm Steenkamp , Arno Botha, Jano Vermaak, Louis Fouche JJ Engelbrecht