Sharks give Boks a break as Powell reveals team for Edinburgh clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Sharks Director of Rugby Neil Powell has revealed his team to face Edinburgh in Round 13 of the 2022/23 United Rugby Championship season.
Powell has made five changes to the team that lost to Harlequins in the Champions Cup last weekend.
The Springbok contingent of Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Jaden Hendrikse and Lukhanyo Am will not feature in the match as they are being rested.
Hyron Andrews will get a start in the second row and the Venter duo of James and Henco (who comes in for Vincent Tshituka) are both in the back row this week.
There are two backline changes with Grant Williams coming in Hendrikse at scrumhalf and Francois Venter taking over from Am where he partners Ben Tapuai.
“At this stage of the season, we’ve addressed where we’re lying on the log and where we feel we should be sitting. We have played two games less than some of the teams, and we know the games we have left we have to win and that starts this weekend where we’re looking to put in a good performance,” Tapuai explains.
Despite the Edinburgh team missing players to the Scottish camp this weekend, the Australian international believes their opponents will be no less dangerous.
“We can’t read too much into that, they are a very strong, quality side that has been in this competition for a long time, while this is only our second year and we’re still learning the ropes.
“Whether they have their Scottish internationals or they don’t, we know it’s important for their campaign to try and finish as high as they can and it’s the same for us.
“Coming off a disappointing loss against Harlequins last week, we’re just focusing on ourselves and trying to get everything sorted for this match.”
Sharks:15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (captain), 7 Henco Venter, 6 James Venter, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Carlü Sadie, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Yaw Penxe.
Date: Saturday, January 28
Venue: Edinburgh Rugby Stadium, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 17.15 (17.15 GMT; 19.15 SA time)
Referee: James Doleman (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jonny Perriam (Scotland), Ru Campbell (Scotland)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (Italy)