The Sharks team has FINALLY been named and oh boy, are there some surprises in store.
The back line is unchanged from the one that played against the Stormers, save for the introduction of Rory Kockott for the injured Ruan Pienaar. The mooted switch to centre for Frans Steyn has not eventuated, meaning Brad Barritt retains the number 12 shirt, with Steyn at 15.
It’s in the forwards that there are some real surprises, though. Don’t expect any clarity on the Bismarck du Plessis issue… he has been bracketed with Skipper Badenhorst. Burden will seemingly be on the bench whatever happens, so it’s an all-or-nothing thing for young Skipper. Jannie du Plessis comes in in the unfamiliar loosehead position, meaning crowd favourite Beast Mtawarira will be on the bench.
In an utterly shocking move, live wire flanker Keegan Daniel has been named at openside flank, with both Jacques Botes and Jean Deysel named as loose forward reserves in a 5-2 bench. There is no scrumhalf replacement, indicating that Fred Michalak will slot in at the base should Kockott not see out the game.
Here is the team:
15 Steyn 14 Ndungane, 13 Murray, 12 Barritt, 11 Pietersen, 10 Michalak, 9 Kockott, 8 Kankowski, 7 Venter, 6 Daniel, 5 Muller (capt), 4 Ackermann, 3 Botha, 2 B du Plessis/Badenhorst, 1 J du Plessis
16 Burden, 17 Mtawarira, 18 van den Berg, 19 Deysel, 20 Botes, 21 Jacobs, 22 TerblancheTweet