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Plumtree tweaks matchday squad for Challenge Cup semifinal

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Sharks head coach John Plumtree has revealed his team to face Clermont Auvergne in Saturday’s Challenge Cup semifinal at Twickenham Stoop in London.

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Plumtree has tweaked his pack with the headline change being Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi starting in the front row in place of Fez Mbatha, who drops to the bench.

There is a shuffle in the back row with James Venter coming in to take over the No.6 jersey.

It means Phepsi Buthelezi has shifted to No.8 with Vincent Tshituka wearing the No.7 jersey this week.

On the bench, Gerbrandt Grobler comes in for Corne Rahl.

Cameron Wright will be the replacement scrumhalf this week after Jaden Hendrikse was ruled out with an injury.

The other players not considered for selection due to injury are Coenie Oosthuizen, Curwin Bosch, Dylan Richardson, George Cronje, Marnus Potgieter, Muller du Plessis, Nevaldo Fleurs and Zee Mkhabela.

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Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Ethan Hooker, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Siya Masuku, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 James Venter, 5 Emile van Heerden, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Gerbrandt Grobler, 20 Jeandre Labuschagne, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Boeta Chamberlain, 23 Francois Venter.

Date: Saturday, May 4
Venue: Twickenham Stoop, London
Kick-off: 12.30 (13.30 SAST; 13.30 CEST; 11.30 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Karl Dickson (England), Matthew Carley (England)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)

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