Bok-less Sharks get timely midfield boost
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: James Venter will lead the Sharks against Cardiff Rugby on Sunday at Kings Park as they return to United Rugby Championship action following the November test window.
There are several Sharks Springboks still engaged in national duty this weekend. However, the Sharks team that host the side from the Welsh capital will look to both impress, as well as fight for important gains.
Cardiff come to Durban off a 17-25 home loss to Edinburgh in their last URC outing and will not want to slip up again, while the Sharks players selected for this match will take full opportunity given to them to really have a go at their visitors.
Squad depth is vital to the Sharks’ cause over the next few months and the players given this opportunity will look to really step up and deliver a powerful, victorious performance.
Two log points separate the sides, but Cardiff have played two extra games and a non-negotiable home win for the Sharks will do their title chase the world of good.
The changes for the Sharks for this match see Dian Bleuler and Carlü Sadie replacing Ntuthuko Mchunu and Thomas du Toit respectively in the front row.
Following his fine efforts off the bench, Justin Basson gets a start in the second row, with Gerbrandt Grobler shifting in place of Hyron Andrews who plays off the bench.
In the back row, James Venter takes over from Dylan Richardson on the side of the scrum while Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Phepsi Buthelezi, both fresh off their SA’A’ commitments, swap jerseys.
In the backline, Werner Kok shifts to the left wing in place of Thaakir Abrahams, with the Blitzbok star’s position on the right wing occupied by Marnus Potgieter.
Rohan Janse van Rensburg is back, Ben Tapuai moved to the bench, with van Rensburg forming a Springbok partnership with the highly-rated and vastly experienced Francois Venter who has also been given the vice-captaincy for this match.
The final change sees Anthony Volmink in for Aphelele Fassi who suffered an ankle injury in his SA ‘A’ appearance against Munster.
Sharks: 15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Werner Kok, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 James Venter (captain), 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Dian Bleuler
Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Khwezi Mona, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Bradley Davids, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Ben Tapuai
Date: Sunday, November 27
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 18.10 (16.10 Ireland and UK time; 16.10 GMT)
Referee: Frank Murphy
Assistant Referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron, Stephan Geldenhuys
TMO: Eoghan Cross