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Sharks forced to 'rest' two more Springboks

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Sharks return to Kings Park on Saturday when they host the Stormers in what will be another intense United Rugby Championship clash between two old rivals.

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This is a Round One catch-up match – as the original match, back in September last year, was postponed due to a scheduling conflict.

The coastal derby, featuring the two top South African teams looks to offer every bit of drama you have come to expect when these two teams meet.

Springbok resting protocols – to manage the country’s top players in this Rugby World Cup year – have necessitated a number of changes in recent weeks, including Saturday’s match.

Sharks Director of Rugby Neil Powell has made two changes to the front row.

Ntuthuko Mchunu replaces Retshegofaditswe Nche and CarlΓΌ Sadie comes in for Thomas du Toit – with the rest of the pack that served the team so well last week remaining in place.

Cameron Wright gets a start at scrumhalf for the injured Grant Williams, while Rohan Janse van Rensburg is back in the side, playing at centre with Ben Tapuai shifting to outside centre in place of Francois Venter.

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Sharks fullback Aphelele Fassi and Man of the Match in last week’s win over Edinburgh said that his team is in a good space ahead of this big home match.

“We’ve taken a lot of energy out of that game,” he admitted.

“There was massive character shown by the boys and we’re very proud of that.

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“I could see on the training pitch this week that there’s a lot of belief and energy in the group.

“From a defensive point of view, that win was a positive from us and it’s something we want to continue to grow.”

Of the Stormers, he acknowledged the huge challenge that lies ahead against the defending champs.

“Coastal derbies are always special, we know the style of play they want to play, we know the threats they bring in terms of the breakdown, the set-piece and going forward in terms of our plan is to just match that and take the opportunities we’ve identified. And being clinical in converting those into points.”

Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Phendulani Buthelezi (captain), 7 Henco Venter, 6 James Venter, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.
Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 7 Dian Bleuler, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Bradley Davids, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Yaw Penxe.

Date: Saturday, February 4
Kick-off: 14.00 (12.00 GMT)
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Griffin Colby
TMO: Marius Jonker

Sharks team to face Stormers

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