The regular captain of the Leopards, Wilhelm Koch, and five other players are injured for Friday night’s clash against the Sharks in Durban.
New captain André Swanepoel will have to do battle against the Sharks without star fullback Russell Jeacocks, inside centre Basil de Doncker, flyhalf Cecil Dumond, prop Nardus Lombard and star scrumhalf Michael Bondesio.
Koch and Bondesio have been two of the Leopards’ stars during the maiden Currie Cup voyage and could be sorely missed against a star-studded Sharks side.
Bondesio, who has been ruled out because of flu, will watch Jean Tiedt get a start in Durban with the young Chris Erasmus on the bench.
Swanepoel will be happy that he has the pin-point boot of Clayton Durand back in the side with Dumont playing the National Club Championships. Durand was the country’s top scorer last year.
Tiedt is one of a few ex-Sharks who couldn’t cut it in Durban but has been included in the Leopards side, along with fullback Danie Dames, inside centre Berndt Theissinger and flanker Thabo Mamojele.
The Leopards’ pack has been bulked up with the return of loosehead Divan Kotzé who replaces Nardus Lombard.
The Leopards will go into battle without a reserve lock on the bench using Mamojele as the lock cover.
The Pukke’s Neil Jacobs, who has represented the Under 21s for the past few weeks, will sit on the bench in a trade-off with the Pukke to use Dumond.
Leopards: 15 Danie Dames; 14 Jovan Bowles, 13 Deon van Rensburg, 12 Berndt Theissinger, 11 Jan van Zyl; 10 Clayton Durand, 9 Jean Tiedt; 8 RW Kember, 7 Thabo Mamojele, 6 André Swanepoel (captain), 5 Draad Linde, 4 Ligtoring Landman, 3 Os van der Walt, 2 Gavin Williamson, 1 Divan Kotzé.
Replacements: 16 Pellow van der Westhuizen, 17 Nardus Lombard, 18 Bennie Adams, 19 Riaan Swanepoel, 20 Chris Erasmus, 21 Neil Jacobs, 22 Bom Samaai
with thanks to www.rugby365.comTweet