Sharks coach John Plumtree has made a number of enforced and rotational changes to his team that meets the Chiefs in Hamilton in their Vodacom Super Rugby clash on Saturday, with a number of players set to make their debuts.
Official Sharks Media Release
The changes implemented will mean however that a very fresh team will take on a Chiefs side – themselves under pressure – never short of playing running rugby, a style they will hope will tire The Sharks and which the changes will hopefully obviate.
In the absence of Tendai Mtawarira, Wiehahn Herbst will play at loosehead prop alongside hooker Craig Burden (in for Kyle Cooper who has started the last four matches and gets a well-earned break) and Springbok Jannie du Plessis.
There are changes in the second row with another player with a heavy workload being shifted to the bench. Franco van der Merwe who has started all eight games this campaign has been replaced by Pieter-Steph du Toit who played at flank last week, and he will partner Anton Bresler.
The loose forward trio has been completely re-arranged, Marcell Coetzee who has also started every game and carried a heavy workload makes way for debutant Derick Minnie, a big and strong 107kg athlete on loan from the Lions while Jean Deysel takes over the captaincy from Keegan Daniel who is also afforded some respite, although he will play some role, coming off the bench during the game.
Lubabalo Mtembu gets his first start at Super Rugby level, having gained three caps off the bench, replacing Daniel at eighthman.
Amongst the backline, there are further rotational changes with Charl McLeod and Cobus Reinach swapping jerseys and Piet Lindeque back in the black and white colours after a stint of Varsity and Vodacom Cup rugby and back to play for the province where he spent his early years after school.
Francois Steyn will partner Meyer Bosman in the severely disappointing absence of Paul Jordaan who returns home with a knee ligament injury in the final change.
1 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Craig Burden, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 4 Anton Bresler, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Derick Minnie, 7 Jean Deysel (Captain), 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 9 Charl McLeod, 10 Patrick Lambie, 11 Piet Lindeque, 12 Meyer Bosman, 13 Francois Steyn, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 15 Riaan Viljoen
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Franco van der Merwe, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 S’bura Sithole.