Vodacom Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White has made a few changes to his team for this clash against the Durbanites, after their narrow defeat against the Totota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last weekend.
Van der Merwe's inclusion at tighthead prop is in place of another Springbok, Trevor Nyakane, who drops to the bench.
Joining Nyakane amongst the replacements is Arno Botha, who will provide cover while former Junior Bok Elrigh Louw will get his first start at this level at flank.
White also made a number of changes to the Vodacom Bulls' backline.
Exciting youngster David Kriel shifts to fullback in place of the injured of Gio Aplon, with Springbok wing Travis Ismaiel and Blitzbok speedster Kurt-Lee Arendse selected on the wings.
A new midfield combination will run out against the KwaZulu-Natalians, with Cornal Hendricks shifting back to inside centre while Stedman Gans will man the outside centre channel on game day.
The final change in the backline sees Ivan van Zyl and Embrose Papier swapping places at scrumhalf.
“We've got another opportunity this week against the Sharks but we need to be better than we were in Bloemfontein," said White.
"We cannot afford to depend on a late comeback to save our graces which means dominating all phases of play from the first kick-off."
Vodacom Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements: 16 Joe van Zyl, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren.
Match information - Vodacom Bulls v Cell C Sharks
Date: Saturday, 24 October 2020
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Paul Mente
Television Match Official: AJ Jacobs
TV: SuperSport Grandstand and Rugby