Sharks coach John Plumtree has been forced to make changes to his team to face the Southern Kings this Friday evening at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
Former France international Frederic Michalak has been found guilty of a late and dangerous tackle on Elton Jantjies in the Currie Cup Final last year and he his hearing was delayed until now.
Michalak has been suspended for one week which makes him available to play as of 22 February. He has been replaced by Charl McLeod and Cobus Reinach is elevated into the match 24 where he will play off the bench.
Flanker Jacques Botes has been pulled from the match as a precautionary measure as he has an infection on his leg and it was felt that a more prudent decision on his inclusion would be to rest him this week ahead of next week’s Bulls Super Rugby opener.
“With the injury to Jacques Botes, it gives me an opportunity to play Marcell Coetzee (pictured) at six where I think he could have potential,” coach John Plumtree said on the Sharks website.
In addition captain Keegan Daniel has been rested in order to give some other players some game time in the pre-season hit-out matches.
“Keegan has played two full games, so I’m happy to give him about half a game and it gives Bismarck du Plessis an opportunity to captain the team which is good.”
Marcell Coetzee will now play at six with Lubabalo ‘Tera’ Mtembu brought in at seven.
The Sharks (Revised):
1 Dale Chadwick, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Captain), 3 Jannie du Plessis, 4 Steven Sykes, 5 Anton Bresler, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 7 Lubabalo Mtembu, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 9 Charl McLeod, 10 Patrick Lambie, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 12 Tim Whitehead, 13 JP Pietersen, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 15 Riaan Viljoen
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Julian Redelinghuys, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Ross Skeate, 21 Keegan Daniel, 22 Cobus Reinach, 23 Meyer Bosman, 24 Paul Jordaan.