DURBAN – Sharks legend Tendai Mtawarira will draw level with the retired Adriaan Strauss as the most capped South African Super Rugby player (156 appearances) when he takes the field against the Bulls at Jonsson Kings Park on Saturday.
The Beast will again be the cornerstone of a Sharks pack that shows just one change to the unit that upped their game against the Rebels last week. On the flank, former Western Province flank Luke Stringer displaces youngster Phepsi Buthlelezi, who drops out of the squad because of the return to fitness of Philip van der Walt.
The latter has been sorely missed this season after he returned from Japan in January with a thigh injury that has at last cleared up. The vastly experienced Van der Walt will be introduced off the bench.
On the subject of forward substitutes, it was a case of lightning striking twice in the same place for hooker Craig Burden when he pulled up with an arm injury at training yesterday. Last week, he was also injured in the final training session of the week (a knee problem, that time).
Burden, who is having a difficult time making his comeback for the Sharks after returning from a career in France, is again replaced by young Kerron van Vuuren.
There is one change in the backs, with right wing Sbu Nkosi enjoying a Springbok rotational break and he is replaced by veteran Lwazi Mvovo.
A newcomer to the bench is Kobus van Wyk, the wing who can also play centre and he is needed in that respect after the suspensions to Jeremy Ward and Marius Louw.
Van Wyk is making a timely return from a shoulder injury.
The Black Panther @CellC Sharks are out for blood after their recent defeat by the Captain America Vodacom @BlueBullsRugby.— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) March 25, 2019
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The Sharks team is:
15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Lwazi Mvovo, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (c), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Luke Stringer, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Bench: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Philip van der Walt, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Kobus van Wyk, 23 Curwin Bosch.@MikeGreenaway67