Alberts to start for Sharks
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Durban – Willem Alberts will make his first start of the Vodacom Super Rugby season after being named in the starting line-up to take on the Force in Perth on Friday.
The Springbok loose forward, who had missed the entire campaign until he played the second half against the Reds last week, was one of four changes made to the run-on XV by coach John Plumtree.
Odwa Ndungane, Anton Bresler and Jannie du Plessis all returned to the starting fold as the desperate Durban side would be looking to arrest a four-match losing streak which had seen their play-off chances all but ended.
Piet Lindeque, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Wiehahn Herbst made way, while Jean Deysel dropped to the bench to accommodate Alberts, who had been sidelined by a shoulder injury.
The Sharks had lost to the Chiefs, Highlanders and, most recently, to the Reds 32-17 in Brisbane.
Their last victory dated back to April 5 when they overcame the Crusaders 21-17 at home to move top of the South African conference and third overall.
They have since slipped down to fourth locally and 11th overall.
“The Force beat the Crusaders, they lost by one point to the Chiefs, the 2012 champs, and with those results, they have some belief,” Plumtree said.
“So it's going to be a tough game. They're a side that's clearly working very hard for each other and we know it is going to be a really tough task from our side.”
Sharks: Riaan Viljoen, Odwa Ndungane, JP Pietersen, Meyer Bosman, Lwazi Mvovo, Patrick Lambie, Charl McLeod, Keegan Daniel, Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Franco van der Merwe, Anton Bresler, Jannie du Plessis, Kyle Cooper, JC Janse van Rensburg. Replacements: Monde Hadebe, Wiehahn Herbst, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Derick Minnie/ Lubabalo Mtembu, Jean Deysel, Tian Meyer, Piet Lindeque. – Sapa