DURBAN – Sharks scrumhalf Cobus Reinach will run out against the Lions to earn his half-century of Super Rugby caps at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Reinach has been an important member of the team for a number of years now and is enjoying a good run of form in this year’s competition.
So too the rest of his teammates as they notched up their fourth successive win against the Cheetahs last Saturday, and they will be seeking a sixth, albeit against quite possibly their toughest opposition to date.
In changes to the Sharks team named by head coach Robert du Preez on Thursday, Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira was not considered for selection this week due to the death of his grandmother, which means Thomas du Toit starts at loosehead prop.
After playing off the bench last week in his first game this season, Daniel du Preez will operate in tandem from No 8 with his twin brother Jean-Luc, with captain Tera Mtembu playing on the flank. Jacques Vermeulen shifts to the bench.
There is just one change to the backline, with Garth April replacing Clement Poitrenaud at fullback.
Lwazi Mvovo admits that it’s going to be a tough game, but that Sharks are looking within rather than at the opposition to make sure they do what is necessary to fulfil their ambitions.
“They’re playing well, really well, you’d expect that from last year’s finalists and there is no ways we’re underestimating them,” the left wing said.
“So, it’s all up to us to focus on our game plan and on ourselves. Winning is never easy in Joburg, but we’re going up there to win.
“I’m expecting quite a ball-in-hand kind of game on the weekend and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Sharks Team: 15 Garth April, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Tera Mtembu (captain), 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit. Bench: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Inny Radebe, 23 Jeremy Ward.