Sharks head coach Sean Everitt has named a vastly changed team to take on the Bulls in Saturday’s Super Rugby Unlocked round two clash at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, with Springbok flyer Sbu Nkosi back on the wing.
As a result, the Durbanites will return to the capital with a new-look team from the one that lost to the same opposition at Loftus Versfeld on Super Fan Saturday, almost a month ago. Everitt used that match, which the Bulls won 49-28, to give his extended squad some game time as the season resumed, but this week the Sharks mentor has picked a very strong matchday 23.
Three players are back from injury and will bolster the KwaZulu-Natalians' side from their last visit to Pretoria, while Everitt has made just one change to in the starting team that defeated the Lions in round one. Nkosi, a member of the Boks' Rugby World Cup-winning squad, returns to the starting line-up in place of JP Pietersen.
Upfront, Kerron van Vuuren (hooker) and Henco Venter (loose forward) have both been passed fit to play, but have been named to come off the bench in their first matches since the suspension of Super Rugby back in March. Also named on the bench is the hugely exciting Yaw Penxe who was last seen in action in the Springbok Showdown.
The 23-year-old speedster, who hails from Queenstown in the Eastern Cape and is on loan to the Sharks, came to prominence for the Southern Kings before starring in the Green team’s 25-9 victory over the Golds early in October.
Sharks: 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Werner Kok, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Phepsi Buthelezi, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Dylan Richardson, 1 Ox Nche. Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Yaw Penxe.
- SA Rugby