JJ van der Mescht to start for Sharks as Sean Everitt shuffles pack
DURBAN - Sharks coach Sean Everitt has refreshed his team for their trip to Nelspruit to play the Pumas, making five changes to the side that lost to the Bulls.
Some of the changes are down to injury but there is also a rotational feel to the side.
In the only change to the backline, Madosh Tambwe will get his first run in the competition in place of Werner Kok, who has been rested after playing every one of the Sharks’ games so far.
Tambwe was unavailable for selection in the Sharks’ first two games because of a hastring problem.
Everitt has explained the number of changes he has made to the pack.
“Thomas du Toit is out because of injury and he’s replaced by John-Hubert Meyer, while Michael Kumbirai, who joined us from Western Province last year, will have an opportunity to make his debut off the bench,” Everitt explained.
“Bringing in JJ van der Mescht (for Ruben van Heerden) in the second row was a rotational change — we need to keep the squad fresh and the guys energised and JJ has only had 40 minutes in the last two weeks, so we’re giving him an opportunity to get game time and to see what difference he can make to our pack.”
The loose trio has been rejigged,. Flank James Venter rolled an ankle in training and he is replaced by Dylan Richardson while Sikhumbuzo Notshe is out with a hamstring strain.
“We didn’t want to risk him, and it gives Phepsi Buthelezi a run in his primary position which is No 8. It’s a good opportunity for him to show what he can do.”
Everitt has picked former Stormer Dan Joost at hooker, with Kerron van Vuuren continuing his comeback from injury off the bench.
There are two debutants named in the match 23, Kumbirai and Thembelani Bholi who hails from the Eastern Cape and has represented the Southern Kings as well as the Bulls and Pumas.
15 Manie Libbok, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (c), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Phendulani Buthelezi, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 John Hubert-Meyer, 2 Dan Jooste, 1 Ox Nche.
Bench: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Yaw Penxe.