Injury forces Sharks coach's hand
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Sharks side named to play the Brumbies in Saturday’s Super Rugby quarterfinal shows two changes.
Aphelele Fassi has been ruled out of the match with a rotator cuff strain on his right shoulder.
A fit-again Curwin Bosch makes a welcome return at fullback.
Juan Schoeman was not considered for selection last week due to a bout of flu and returns to the bench as loosehead cover.
Selection continuity, following their fluky 12-9 win over the Stormers last week, will stand the team in good stead.
* Also read: Brumbies boosted by Wallabies for Sharks showdown
Sharks captain Louis Schreuder, speaking from the team’s base in Coogee in Sydney ahead of a three-hour bus ride to Canberra, said that the team is focused and ready for the clash against the Brumbies.
“The game against the Stormers is behind us and our focus is on the Brumbies,” Schreuder said.
“Everyone is excited and looking forward to the challenge.
“We haven’t faced them this year. They are the Australian conference winners, so they’re not in the quarterfinals by chance.
“They’re a physical, well-organised team with a good set-piece and kicking game.”
Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Mzamo Majola.
Replacements: 16 Cullen Collopy, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Luke Stringer, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Rhyno Smith.
Date: Saturday, June 22
Venue: Gio Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 20.05 (10.05 GMT, 12.05 South African time)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: James Leckie (Australia)