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Sharks bank on more of the same

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Sharks coach John Plumtree has made two changes to the side that will host Zebre Parma for their Challenge Cup Round of 16 clash at Kingspark in Durban on Sunday.


Corne Rahl comes in for the injured Eben Etzebeth while Ethan Hooker is back at centre.

Hooker had a sterling game against Ulster a fortnight ago and deserves another chance to combine with Springbok and captain Lukhanyo Am.

Siya Masuku gets another shot at flyhalf although is goal-kicking was a bit erratic last week. This means Curwin Bosch still warms the bench for the understudy.

Plumtree insists that there is a gathering momentum at the club with the latter stages of the EPCR Challenge Cup in sight.

“The nice thing about our team is that it’s connecting on and off the field. The boys are enjoying each other’s company. We have a good vibe going,”said Plumtre.

“There are obvious challenges in our environment, because I’m a new coach and there’s a lot of work to be done, but the team is happy. We’re also developing competition within the squad, which was part of the problem for us at the start of the season.


“We have some nice youngsters coming through too, which is really good, because they provide the energy and newness to the group.

“The focus for us has been to finish this season well. We want to do well at home for the fans. There are lots of things happening behind the scenes. We are growing our game and our leadership and that’s really pleasing.”

Coming off two wins the Sharks’ tails are up, also knowing that this is a knock-out game.

Zebre is a very passionate and physical team and the Sharks will have to match them up front.


Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Ethan Hooker, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Siya Masuku, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 James Venter, 5 Emile van Heerden, 4 Corne Rahl, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche
Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Gerbrandt Grobler, 20 Lappies Labuschagne, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Curwin Bosch, 23 Francois Venter

Date: Sunday, April 7
Venue: Kingspark, Durban
Kick-off: 16.00 (16.00 CEST; 14.00 GMT)
Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe (England)
Assistant Referees: Tom Foley (England), Adam Leal (England)
TMO: Luke Pearce (England)

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