Bok flank Jean Deysel will lead the Sharks, from the blindside flank position, when they take on Western Province at Newlands in Saturday’s opening Currie Cup match.
The Sharks have opted to add Louis Ludik to the rested list, along with Charl McLeod and Anton Bresler, meaning a second-ever start for Gouws Prinsloo, in the number 15 jersey. The wings are chalk and cheese in terms of age and experience, with veteran Bok Odwa Ndungane and young turk Sibusiso Sithole at right and left respectively. Midfielders Paul Jordaan (13) and Meyer Bosman (12) should look to settle as a combination in these early rounds, while Riaan Viljoen has been asked to reprise the flyhalf role he last played again John Smit’s Barney’s Army.
McLeod’s absence means a first-ever start for young Cobus Reinach at scrumhalf, with Conrad Hoffmann his cover on the bench. Another veteran in Marius Joubert joins uncapped winger Rosco Speckman as the other backline reserves.
Up front, it’s all change, with Dale Chadwick, Craig Burden and Wiehahn Herbst – the front row that played for most of last season’s Currie Cup – reunited. Steven Sykes and Jandre Marais are the lock pairing, with Jacques Botes and young Tera Mtembu joining Deysel in a well-balanced back row.
Francois Kleinhans has been called up from the under 21 ranks to sit on the bench, along with the younger Marais sibling (Peet), Monde Hadebe and prop Julian Redelinghuys.
Sharks: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Sbura Sithole, 10 Riaan Viljoen, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean Deysel (capt), 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Jandre Marais, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Dale Chadwick
16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Julian Redelinghuys, 18 Peet Marais, 19 Francois Kleinhans, 20 Conrad Hoffmann, 21 Marius Joubert, 22 Rosco Speckman