Sharks reveal star-studded team for Ulster clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Sharks head coach Sean Everitt has revealed his team for their big United Rugby Championship clash against Ulster in Belfast on Friday.
Everitt has made just three changes from their last outing, a 41-21 penultimate round victory over Connacht at Kings Park at the end of April.
There is a new lock pairing in the form of Ruben van Heerden and Reniel Hugo. They come in for Le Roux Roets and Gerbrandt Grobler respectively, with just the one change to the backline where Lukhanyo Am returns to action after his two-month sojourn in Japan.
Am takes over from Ben Tapuai at outside centre.
The pool stages of the tournament couldn’t have ended on a more dramatic note, with only Leinster having guaranteed their position at the top of the log, and just six log points separating teams two through eight.
Home ground advantage is key in any competition come the knock-out rounds, so there will be no holding back from the Sharks.
“We’re currently sitting on top of the South African Shield and third on the log, so there is everything to play for,” Everitt explains.
“We know what a huge challenge it is to go to Belfast to play at Kingspan [Ravenhill Stadium], but we do believe we have the ability and the players, as well as the coaching team, to go over there and do the job.
“It would be really good for us if we were able to come home and play in front of our fans at Kings Park in a quarter and semifinal.”
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phendulani Buthelezi, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit (captain), 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jeandre Labuschagne, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Grant Williams, 23 Henry Chamberlain.
Date: Friday, May 20
Venue: Ravenhill Stadium, Belfast
Kick-off: 19.35 (20.35 SA time; 18.35 GMT)
Referee: Ben Blain (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Peter Martin (Ireland), Paul Haycock (Ireland)
TMO: Mike Adamson (Scotland)