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Sharks hoping new competition brings better results

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Sharks, bolstered by the return of some vital personnel, will be hoping that a change in competition will halt their disappointing start to the season when they host Section Paloise in their Challenge Cup match in Durban on Saturday.

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In changes from last week’s side, Ox Nche starts, swapping jerseys with Ntuthuko Mchunu who has carried a heavy workload over the past two months while Kerron van Vuuren returns at hooker.

The Sharks’ second row stocks are up with the return of Le Roux Roets to the team after a long-term injury, where the big imposing player will add value off the bench.

The loose forward trio of James Venter, Phepsi Buthelezi and Sikhumbuzo Notshe remains in place, while the Springbok scrumhalf duo of Grant Williams and Jaden Hendrikse swap jerseys.

In the final change, Marnus Potgieter returns to action in place of Aphiwe Dyantyi on the wing.

John Plumtree’s team was reduced to a 10-44 loss at the hands of the Bulls in the United Rugby Championship last weekend and now lie second bottom after a solitary win in seven matches.

Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Francois Venter, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Phepsi Buthelezi, 6 James Venter, 5 Corne Rahl, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche
Replacements: 16 Daniel Jooste, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Lappies Labuschagne, 21 Jaden Hendrikse, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Ethan Hooker

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Date: Saturday, December 9
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT)
Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi (Ita)
Assistant referees: Christophe Ridley, Simon Harding (Eng)
TMO: Ian Tempest (Eng)

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