Sharks coach Sean Everitt has made three personnel changes and one positional switch to the team that played last week for Saturday’s Rainbow Cup SA match against the Stormers in Durban.
Lock JJ van der Mescht has been brought into the starting lineup with Ruben van Heerden shifting to the bench, while in the back-row Everitt has been forced to shuffle his players around following the long-term injury picked up by No 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
Henco Venter will now play at eighthman with Thembelani Bholi coming in on the blindside to partner Siya Kolisi.
Notshe has been ruled out of action for several months after rupturing a patella tendon against the Bulls last week.
In the final change to the side centre Marius Louw takes over from Jeremy Ward.
The Sharks go into the game on the back of a 43-9 hiding by the Bulls in Pretoria, while the Stormers snuck home at the death against the Lions in Joburg, for their first win in the competition.
“The guys are proud, they have a lot of fight in them,” Everitt said ahead of the coastal derby clash.
“Despite last week’s loss, there is still a lot of rugby to be played. We have three games and it starts with our come-back this Saturday and we’re certainly not out of the race.
“We’re still in a really good position; the Bulls are only three points ahead of us, we still have them at home and we haven’t lost at Kings Park for a long period of time. We want to bounce back and we do want to win this competition.”
Vice captain Henco Venter reiterated what Everitt said. “This is our home, where we live and the town that supports us. We’re definitely not going to just lie down and let the Stormers come here and take that away from us.”
“We’re expecting a huge challenge but we’re 100% up for it. We’re excited to take on their forward pack because we don’t want them to come here and not give anything but their best. We want to beat the best teams.”
Sharks: Aphelele Fassi, Sbu Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am (capt), Marius Louw, Yaw Penxe, Curwin Bosch, Jaden Hendrikse, Henco Venter, Thembelani Bholi, Siya Kolisi, Reniel Hugo, JJ van der Mescht, Thomas du Toit, Fez Mbatha, Ox Nche. Bench: Kerron van Vuuren, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Wiehahn Herbst, Ruben van Heerden, Phepsi Buthelezi, Sanele Nohamba, Manie Libbok, Werner Kok