Thomas du Toit will play off the bench for the Sharks against the Blues. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

DURBAN – The Sharks will kick off their Super Rugby home campaign when they host the Blues on Saturday at Kings Park in Durban.

The starting line-up for Saturday remains unchanged from last week’s team selected to play the Sunwolves in Tokyo.

There are, however, two changes on the bench, with the return of Thomas du Toit, in for Khutha Mchunu, and Curwin Bosch for Rhyno Smith.

“We were very happy with last week’s win against a quality side that will upset a few teams this year, but now we’re looking ahead to the Blues,” said Sharks flyhalf Robert du Preez.

“We played some exciting rugby and some brutal rugby, especially the front row that laid the platform for the rest of the team, and we were able to score some lovely tries thanks to the hard work from the forwards.

“The opposition brings the best out of you. We knew these would be really big games, but we have to change our mindset around this – we can’t be up for a Kiwi game and not get up for an Aussie game.

“We will look to build on what we did last year, but this is a new year, they’re a new team and we expect a good battle out there on Saturday.”

The Blues came to beating the Crusaders last week, and that makes for a mouth-watering clash between the two sides.

Sharks Team

15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Bench: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Curwin Bosch.

African News Agency (ANA)