Coach John Plumtree has named a strong Sharks side to take on the Leopards in the Currie Cup on Friday evening. Former Bok flyhalf Andre Pretorius will spearhead the home side’s attempt to gain five points from the fixture, as he starts in the number 10 jersey for the first time.
The team shows a fair few changes to the unit that narrowly lost to the Lions last week and for Plumtree, you get the feeling that this week’s game gives him a last opportunity to try out some different combinations ahead of the semi-finals. Bok tighthead Jannie du Plessis has been named to start, with regular number 3 Eugene van Staden moving over to the loosehead side. Having two regular tightheads in the run-on side gives Plumtree the opportunity to pick Pat Cilliers on the bench, and it will be good to see what sort of impact he can have coming on in the second half.
Second rower Gerhard Mostert starts in the number 5 jersey, after missing out on 6 months of rugby due to injury. Alistair Hargreaves is enjoying a complete rest this week. Keegan Daniel moves from 6 to 8 and captains the side, while Ryan Kankowski has been bracketed on the bench, pending the result of his disciplinary hearing. Should he be ruled out, Mike Rhodes will wear 19 with Anton Bresler coming in. Rhodes will be the lock replacement if the Hoff is cleared to play.
Jacues Botes starts in the number 6 jersey in the only other change to the pack.
Injured captain Stefan Terblanche makes way for Riaan Swanepoel in midfield, with Dries Strauss shifting from 12 to 13 as a result. Apart from that change, Pretorius swapping places with Pat Lambie (on the bench this week) is the only other change to the backline. Zuks Vulindlu comes into the squad for Terblanche and will wear the number 22 jersey.
15. Louis Ludik 14. Odwa Ndungane 13. Andries Strauss 12. Riaan Swanepoel 11. Lwazi Mvovo 10. Andre Pretorius 9. Charl McLeod 8. Keegan Daniel (capt) 7. Willem Alberts 6. Jacques Botes 5. Gerhard Mostert 4. Steven Sykes 3. Jannie du Plessis 2. Craig Burden 1. Eugene van Staden
Replacements 16. Kyle Cooper 17. Patric Cilliers 18. Anton Bresler / Michael Rhodes 19. Michael Rhodes / Ryan Kankowski 20. Rory Kockott 21. Patrick Lambie 22. Luzuko Vulindlu