Veteran centre Marius Joubert will lead the Sharks XV in their third-round Vodacom Cup fixture against Free State on Saturday afternoon at Kings Park. Jandre Marais, who led the side to two good victories in their opening matches, has been called up to the Super Rugby squad this week, along with fullback Riaan Viljoen.
Coach Sean Everitt has kept changes to a minimum as he aims for continuity – aside from the two elevations, open side flanker Francois Kleinhans has been lost to injury this week. Fellow Baby Bok Khaya Majola thus comes into the number 6 jersey as a direct replacement, while former Bulls age group player Wiehan Hay makes his first start in Sharks colours as he’s named to partner Peet Marais in the second row.
Gouws Prinsloo starts for Riaan Viljoen at fullback, with a rotational change seeing Hanco Venter coming in at scrumhalf for Stefan Ungerer.
New faces on the bench this week are lock Stephan Lewies and utility back Jaco van Tonder, both of whom excelled for the Sharks under 21 side last year.
The match kicks off at 14h45 and will be played as a curtain-raiser to the Sharks Super Rugby clash against the Melbourne Rebels.
15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 S’bura Sithole, 13 Marius Joubert (capt), 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Sizo Maseko, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Hanco Venter, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Brynard Stander, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Peet Marais, 4 Wiehan Hay, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Monde Hadebe, 1 Allan Dell
16 Franco Marais, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Stephan Lewies, 19 Johan Meyer, 20 Stefan Ungerer, 21 Tyler Fisher, 22 Jaco van Tonder