Cape Town – The Sharks will be without flyhalf Curwin Bosch when they take on the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.
It is a massive blow for the Durbanites, who have had Bosch at No 10 in their first two victorious outings of the season against the Bulls and then the Highlanders last weekend in Dunedin.
Boeta Chamberlain comes into the side in what is coach Sean Everitt’s only change to the starting line-up.
The Sharks confirmed on Thursday after naming their side that Bosch has returned to South Africa following a family bereavement.
Chamberlain, who enjoyed an encouraging cameo on Super Hero Sunday in pre-season, makes his Super Rugby starting debut.
Everitt has also selected a pack-heavy bench with six forwards and just two backs in anticipation of the physical battle.
“Preparations for the game on Saturday have gone well and the guys are enjoying Wellington,” said Everitt from the team’s base in New Zealand.
“We’re hoping for more of the same from last week – if the weather allows it. It looks like it’s going to remain the same which is good, and we can then look to unleash our backs again.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 08:05 (SA time).
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Gareth Evans, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Fraser Armstrong
Substitutes: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Liam Mitchell, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Billy Proctor
15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Sikhumbuzo 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
Substitutes: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Dylan Richardson, 21 Phepsi Buthelezi, 22 Sanele Nohamba, 23 Jeremy Ward