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Sharks unleash their Springboks

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Sharks have wasted no time in pressing on the buttons of their World Cup winning Springboks for the United Rugby Championship clash with the Dragons at Kings Park on Saturday.

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Head coach John Plumtree welcomed back Eben Etzebeth, Jaden Hendrikse and Makazole Mapimpi into the starting line-up for some much needed added fire power.

Lukhanyo Am takes over the captaincy duties after making his return last week, while national team-mates Ox Nche and Grant Williams will boost the side off the bench.

Fez Mbatha returns to action, taking over from Dylan Richardson at hooker after the Kearsney College old boy had to have surgery to his thumb, putting him out of action for approximately eight weeks.

The men from Durban has lost all five their URC matches and is at the bottom of the log, but do have two bonus points in the bag. The Dragons are two spot above them in 14th position with one victory up to date.

The Sharks still have a long list of players unavailable for selection, either due to injury or suspension.

These players are:

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• Bongi Mbonambi
• Dylan Richardson (thumb surgery)
• Eduan Keyter
• Francois Hougaard
• George Cronje (suspension)
• Gerbrandt Grobler
• Hyron Andrews (suspension)
• Kerron van Vuuren
• Muller du Plessis
• Nevaldo Fleurs
• Reniel Hugo
• Vincent Koch
• Vincent Tshituka

Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Lukhanyo Am ©, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Phepsi Buthelezi, 6 James Venter, 5 Emile van Heerden, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu
Replacements: 16 Daniel Jooste, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Corne Rahl, 20 Jeandre Labuschagne, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Boeta Chamberlain, 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg

Date: Saturday, November 25
Kick-off: 19.05 (17.05 Ireland & UK time; 18.05 Italian time; 17.05 GMT
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Christopher Allison (South Africa); Stephan Geldenhuys (South Africa)
TMO: Eoghan Cross (Ireland)

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