Sharks make big changes for Ospreys clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Sharks have welcomed back a number of returning Springboks for their United Rugby Championship clash against Ospreys at Kings Park on Friday.
The match will be Neil Powell’s first game fully in charge of the team after head coach Sean Everitt was given the boot after a humiliating 0-35 defeat to Cardiff last weekend.
Springbok captain Siyamthanda Kolisi and lock Eben Etzebeth have both carried a heavy load for the national team and haven’t been included, but Director of Rugby Powell has named Retshegofaditswe Nche and Mbongeni Mbonambi in the front row, while Jaden Hendrikse and Curwin Bosch, back from the Boks and injury respectively, to form an exciting halfback pairing.
Makazole Mapimpi has also returned to the franchise and has been named on the wing.
In other changes, Vincent Tshituka moves from flank to lock with Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Jeandre Labuschagne and Phendulani Buthelezi forming a formidable back row.
Buthelezi will captain the side.
Ben Tapuai is back in the starting line-up and the Australian international will partner Francois Venter – himself an international – in the midfield, with Henry Chamberlain slotting in at fullback.
Sharks: 15 Henry Chamberlain, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phendulani Buthelezi (captain), 7 Jeandre Labuschagne, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Vincent Tshituka, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 James Venter, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Nevaldo Fleurs, 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg.
Date: Friday, December 2
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 Ireland & UK time; 17.10 GMT)
Referee: Eoghan Cross (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Stephan Geldenhuys (South Africa), Griffin Colby (South Africa)
TMO: Sam Grove-White (Scotland)