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Bongi leads changed Sharks into battle

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Sharks travel to Johannesburg to take on the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday, as the United Rugby Championship resumes with Round 11.


Coach John Plumtree has made several changes, including naming two-time World Cup-winning Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi as his captain.

He takes over the leadership in the absence of centre Lukhanyo Am.

George Cronje is also back in the side at No.8.

Highly rated young Ethan Hooker has been named in Am’s place at outside centre.

Other backline changes will see Grant Williams (No.9) and Siya Masuku (No.10) combining at halfback.

Eduan Keyter was named in an exciting back three that features Aphiwe Dyantyi and Aphelele Fassi.


Bok lock Eben Etzebeth (knee surgery) headlines the list of players unavailable through injury.

Others include Cameron Wright, Dylan Richardson, Emile van Heerden, Nevaldo Fleurs and Vincent Koch.

Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Eduan Keyter, 13 Ethan Hooker, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Siya Masuku, 9 Grant Williams, 8 George Cronje, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 James Venter, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Corne Rahl, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Bongi Mbonambi (captain), 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.
Replacements: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Khwezi Mona, 19 Jeandre Labuschagne, 20 Tino Mavesere, 21 Phepsi Buthelezi, 22 Tiaan Fourie, 23 Curwin Bosch.


Date: Saturday, March 2
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Christopher Allison
TMO: Ben Crous

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