Sharks lose their Tank ahead of Lions showdown
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Sharks coach Sean Everitt has made a few changes to his side for their Currie Cup Round Four encounter with the Lions.
Kerron van Vuuren is back as the starting hooker, with the impressive Michael Kumbirai named as the tighthead prop.
Kumbirai comes in for Springbok Thomas du Toit, who suffered a rib injury in the Sharks’ 32-29 victory over the Bulls in Durban last weekend.
Juan van der Mescht and Aston Fortuin form a new second row partnership.
Fortuin is on debut for the Sharks.
The 114kg Fortuin has turned out for the Bulls and more recently with the Southern Kings and combined with the 120kg Van der Mescht, adds bulk and strength to the pack.
The rest of the starting XV remains unchanged and is again captained by Lukhanyo Am.
Returning to the side and playing off the bench are front row replacements Fezokuhle Mbatha, Mzamo Majola and John Hubert-Meyer, while loose forward James Venter is another welcome returnee after missing recent action.
Sharks: 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Juan van der Mescht, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Kerron van Vuren, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Fezokuhle Mbatha, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John Hubert-Meyer, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 James Venter, 21 Phendulani Buthelezi, 22 Jaden Hendrikse, 23 Jeremy Ward.
Date: Saturday, December 19
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Aimee Barrett-Theron
TMO: Stuart Berry