Super Lifeline for Sharks' Burden
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Sharks welcome the Rebels to Kings Park on Saturday in a sixth round Super Rugby clash that holds great importance for both sides.
The Rebels and the Sharks have both suffered defeats in the previous round and neither will want to follow up with a consecutive loss. The Rebels will also hope to take some points out of their trip to South Africa after conceding a 33-5 lead over the Lions that resulted in a 36-33 loss.
Head coach Robert du Preez has made a few changes to his side, Ruben van Heerden and Hyron Andrews pairing up in the second row while Phepsi Buthelezi is given a welcome start at flank.
Andre Esterhuizen reverts back at inside centre while Aphelele Fassi is back in the side after taking a knock against the Stormers and replaces Rhyno Smith at fullback.
There is a welcome return for Craig Burden who played hooker for the Sharks between 2006 and 2013 before embarking on a five-year career in France, representing Toulon, Montpellier and Stade Français. He has been named as a replacement for Akker van der Merwe.
Luke Stringer is set to make his Super Rugby debut off the bench as the replacement flank. Marius Louw also features on the bench.
— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) March 21, 2019
Esterhuizen, who watched much of the previous game from the side-lines can’t wait to get stuck in.
“We need to get back on track and get some log points. Obviously, we were disappointed in the last two performances, but we’ve had time to reflect and this week has been about working hard on the training pitch with the emphasis on ball retention and getting back to physicality.”
Following their week off, #OurSharks centre, @Andre_301207 looks forward to ripping into action when the @CellC Sharks take on the @MelbourneRebels at JONSSON KINGS PARK on Saturday.💪#SHAvREB #OurSharksForever🦈 pic.twitter.com/aHRZq35nhX
— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) March 20, 2019
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Phepsi Buthelezi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Luke Stringer, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Curwin Bosch.
Date: Saturday, March 23
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT; 02.15 Melbourne time Sunday, March 24)
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Griffin Colby (South Africa), Archie Sehlako (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)