Springbok Esterhuizen has the Sharks captain's armband against Rebels
JOHANNESBURG – Springbok centre Andre Esterhuizen will take over the captaincy duties from regular skipper Lukhanyo Am, who is being rested, for the Sharks' fourth round Super Rugby match with the Rebels on Saturday in Ballarat.
The Rebels will play their first match at Mars Stadium in Ballarat - approximately 100km north-west of Melbourne - and their clash with the Sharks starts at 5.45am (SA time).
Jeremy Ward comes into the starting line-up as replacement for Am while Curwin Bosch has rejoined his teammates Down Under after returning from a family bereavement.
The Springbok utility player is straight back into the starting side, while fellow Springbok Makazole Mapimpi has recovered from his concussion and is also back in the starting fifteen.
Up front, Springbok prop Thomas du Toit is back in the front row after his late withdrawal last week in Wellington due to illness.
A rotation at scrumhalf means a start for Sanele Nohamba in place of Louis Schreuder. Meanwhile, Boeta Chamberlain has returned to South Africa after failing the return to play protocol after he was concussed last weekend. Lwazi Mvovo, who was called up in his place, is included on the bench.
The Sharks have won five of their previous seven outings against the Rebels, however, their only loss in that stretch came in their last visit to Victoria on March 23, 2018. The Melbourne side have lost their last six fixtures against South African opposition.
Rebels – 15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Campbell Magnay, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Andrew Deegan, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Michael Wells, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Steven Misa, 1 Matt Gibbon.
Replacements: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Rob Leota, 22 Frank Lomani, 23 Tom English.
15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Andre Esterhuizen (captain), 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Sikumbuzo Notshe, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Miami Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Hence Venter, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.
African News Agency (ANA)