Du Preez will be skipper for the first time this season after coach Heyneke Meyer decided to rest regular leader Victor Matfield following consultation with the national selectors and Springbok coach Jake White.
JP Nel's suspension last weekend means that former South Africa Under-21 winger Marius Delport comes into the squad at outside centre, while Danie Rossouw and Danie Thiart have both recovered from flu and will take their places at flank and tighthead prop respectively.
Gary Botha will have a final fitness test on Friday to see if he is over his calf strain, while Bryan Habana has a similar check after tweaking his hamstring during Wednesday's practice session.
The Bulls have already scored firsts in Super 14 history by beating the Brumbies and Waratahs for the first time away from home, and remain the only South African team to ever have registered a win in Super rugby in Christchurch.
That was, however, back in the inaugural Super 12 competition in 1996.