Sharks make three changes for Reds
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Durban – JC Janse van Rensburg will make his full debut for the Sharks after being named in the starting XV as part of three changes for their Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.
There is also a possible return to action for Springbok forward Willem Alberts after he was named among the substitutes on Wednesday for the first time since recovering from a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the entire season to date.
Prop Van Rensburg, on-loan from the Lions, replaces Jannie du Plessis in the team, with Wiehahn Herbst shifting to the other side of the scrum, while Jean Deysel takes over from the injured Lubabalo Mtembu among the loose forwards.
The one change in the backline is also enforced – Piet Lindeque replaces injured Francois Steyn, with JP Pietersen playing at centre and Lindeque running out on the wing.
“It hasn't been easy losing personnel and combinations keep changing, which makes life difficult for us,” said coach John Plumtree.
“But the boys have gone out there and looked to play adventurous rugby, playing with ball in hand, building up some real pressure on the opposition.”
The Sharks dropped to ninth on the overall log and third in the SA conference after losing their two tour matches in New Zealand over the past two weeks.
They went down to defending champions the Chiefs 37-29 and also lost 25-22 to the Highlanders.
“Ultimately we didn't get the results. They just haven't gone our way,” Plumtree said.
“We're just going from week to week and we want to take the pressure off, play for each other, play for the jersey, that's important.
“We're in a different set of circumstance with the team because of the fact that we have so many guys out. We just have to put our heads together.
“We've sent four or five guys home and we are only halfway through the tour.
“Right now the focus is getting a team prepared for the weekend.”
Riaan Viljoen, Piet Lindeque, JP Pietersen, Meyer Bosman, Lwazi Mvovo, Patrick Lambie, Charl McLeod, Keegan Daniel, Jean Deysel, Marcell Coetzee, Franco van der Merwe, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Wiehahn Herbst, Kyle Cooper, JC Janse van Rensburg. Replacements: Monde Hadebe, Jannie du Plessis, Anton Bresler, Derick Minnie, Willem Alberts, Tian Meyer, Odwa Ndungane. – Sapa