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Sharks bring in New Zealand prop for Stormers showdown

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Sharks head coach John Plumtree has revealed his matchday squad for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship Round Nine clash against the Stormers in Cape Town.

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There are a few changes to the starting line-up.

Emile van Heerden is back to replace Le Roux Roets in the second row, while Jeandre ‘Lappies Labuschagne comes in at flank, meaning a shift to No.8 for Phepsi Buthelezi in place of Sikhumbuzo Notshe.

In the backline, Jaden Hendrikse gets a start with Grant Williams playing off the bench in a straight jersey swap.

Meanwhile, fans will also get to see 27-year-old Joel Hintz for the first time in a Sharks jersey.

The New Zealand prop was brought over to Durban as front row cover from Hawke’s Bay.

He has also turned out for the New England Free Jacks in Major League Rugby in the USA.

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George Cronje returns to action in the penultimate change, with Boeta Chamberlain completing the rotation, taking over from Lionel Cronje.

Players not available for selection due to injury are Bongi Mbonambi, Dylan Richardson, Gerbrandt Grobler, Nevaldo Fleurs, Reniel Hugo, Vincent Koch and Vincent Tshituka.

Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Francois Venter, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 James Venter, 5 Emile van Heerden, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: 16 Daniel Jooste, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Joel Hintz, 19 Corne Rahl, 20 George Cronje, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Boeta Chamberlain, 23 Ethan Hooker.

Date: Saturday, December 30
Venue: Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron (South Africa), Stephan Geldenhuys (South Africa)
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)

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