Injuries force Sharks to change
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Sharks know that the clash against the Dragons this Saturday, in their second tour match of this year’s United Rugby Championship, will be a challenge.
Just two injury-enforced changes has been made to the team that defeated Zebre last week.
Justin Basson comes into the starting line-up for Gerbrandt Grobler at lock, with Hyron Andrews taking his place on the bench.
Anthony Volmink replaces Fred Zeilinga on the bench.
Sharks assistant coach Noel McNamara has warned just how tough this match is expected to be.
“We saw with their performance against Munster, they’re in a really positive place and I’m sure people sat up and took note of that result,” McNamara said.
“We’re under no illusions as to the challenge we face on Saturday.”
Talking about how the Sharks’ approach might change, taking on Welsh opposition after playing the Italians in the first game McNamara admitted: “The weather and surface are going to be different; we saw against Zebre the weather was perfect, the surface fantastic and quick but here it is wet and cold.
“That is one thing, in terms of playing the Dragons, they’re physical and go hard at the breakdown so that’s going to be particularly important. They have a good set-piece, they caused Munster plenty of problems at maul and scrum time. And they have pace, they have international wingers and if we give them opportunities, we’ll be in trouble.
“We’re looking forward to getting stuck in a physical and confrontational contest.”
While the weather may not come to the party, McNamara pointed out that they would be playing on a soccer pitch, which won’t get bogged down.
“We are used to a wet ball in Durban, not so much from rain as the heat and humidity, the challenge for us it to have an all-round game, to have the ability to play and at times, when you need to play pressure rugby as well. We’re very much of the mindset that we need to adapt, before or even during the game.”
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Boeta Chamerlain, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Phendulani Buthelezi, 7 Dylan Richardson, 6 James Venter, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Justin Basson, 3Thomas du Toit (captain), 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.
Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marnus Potgieter, 23 Anthony Volmink.
Date: Saturday, October 1
Venue: Rodney Parade, Newport
Kick-off: 19.30 (20.30 SA time; 18.30 GMT)
Referee: Ben Blain
Assistant referees: Gwyn Morris, Elwyn Morris
TMO: Sam Grove-White