Goosen’s return, after almost a year on the sidelines with a serious knee injury he picked up in October 2021 against Cardiff, is one of three changes to the Vodacom Bulls’ backline – Stravino Jacobs replaces Sbu Nkosi at wing after the latter was called up to the Springbok squad this week, while Zak Burger rotates at scrumhalf with Embrose Papier.

In the pack, Springbok No 8 Elrigh Louw is back in the side after he was released from the national squad, while the rest of the pack is unchanged.

Wandisile Simelane, who started at fullback last weekend, is bracketed on the bench with Stedman Gans, while Papier is joined among the replacements by Simphiwe Matanzima, who will play his first game of the new season.

“It was good to be able to start the new season on a winning note, beating a tough Emirates Lions side in their own backyard,” said Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White.  

“We had a few areas we identified that we needed to work on this week and the boys were hard at work getting those better.

“Edinburgh is a tough and talented side. They had an incredible game against Dragons last weekend where they won by a convincing margin. We know how tough they are from our last meeting in the previous season where they beat us. We will need to be at our best if we want to get a good result. We expect another tough encounter against a well-coached outfit.”

The match kicks off at 14h30 at Loftus Versfeld and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

Vodacom Bulls: 15 Johan Goosen, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 David Kriel, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Zak Burger; 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Ruan Vermaak, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp. Replacements: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Francois Klopper, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Marco van Staden; 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Wandisile Simelane / Stedman Gans.