The Bulls, with eight wins and a draw in their last nine matches against the Sharks, have included six Springboks, including veteran flyhalf Morné Steyn, and a Scottish international in the run-on team to play the Sharks in Durban on Friday.
Steyn last played for the Pretoria outfit in 2013 and is the only three times Super Rugby champion from the Bulls title wins in 2007, 2009 and 2010 who is still within the South African circuit.
He is joined in the starting side by former Lions captain Josh Strauss who represented Scotland, and fellow-Springboks in World Cup winner Warrick Gelant, loosehead prop Lizo Gqoboka, scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl, wing Cornal Hendriks and lock Juandré Kruger.
Strauss, former Lions lock Andries Ferreira and former Pukke and Pumas flank and captain Juandré Rudolph play their first Super Rugby match for the Bulls while there are also newcomers on the bench in loose forward Wian Vosloo and lock Ryno Pieterse
There are two more Springboks in scrumhalf Embrose Papier and another World Cup winner Trevor Nyakane on the bench.
Three of the players, Gelant, Hendriks and Rosko Specman, have also represented the Blitzboks.
♦ Bulls head coach Human has also opted to select the same 6/2 split between the forwards and backs on the bench as the Springboks did during their successful Rugby World Cup campaign last season.
"We have enjoyed a strong preseason with few injuries which has allowed us to select our strongest available team to take on a well-oiled Sharks outfit," said Bulls head coach, Pote Human.
♦ History favours the visitors with the Bulls securing eight wins and a draw in their last nine matches against the Durban team.
"We have a job to do in Durban and we are not taking it lightly. The Sharks have proved time and time again that they are a dangerous team if underestimated. We are going into the match with level heads and a battle plan in hand."
Kick-off is 19:10.
15. Warrick Gelant, 14. Cornal Hendricks, 13. Johnny Kotze, 12. Burger Odendaal (captain),
11. Rosko Specman, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Ivan van Zyl, 8. Josh Strauss, 7. Abongile Nonkontwana, 6. Jeandré Rudolph, 5. Juandré Kruger, 4. Andries Ferreira, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Jaco Visagie, 1. Lizo Gqoboka. Replacements:16. Johan Grobbelaar, 17. Simphiwe Matanzima, 18. Trevor Nyakane, 19. Ruan Nortjé, 20. Ryno Pieterse, 21. Wian Vosloo, 22. Embrose Papier, 23. Manie Libbok
Steyn returns for Vodacom Super Rugby opener. The Vodacom Bulls have named a strong matchday squad for their Vodacom Super Rugby season opener against the Cell C Sharks at Jonsson Kings Park on Friday, 31 January 2020. #SHAvBUL #BullsFamily Read more: https://thebulls.co.za/2970-2/