Cape Town – The Sharks team named to take on the Melbourne Rebels in Ballarat on Saturday sees the restoration of players missing from last weekend’s defeat to the Hurricanes.
Thomas du Toit was a late withdrawal last week and his fellow front rower Ox Nche was shifted to the bench as cover, while Curwin Bosch was back in Durban for a family bereavement and Makazole Mapimpi left the field early with a head knock.
All four are back in the starting line-up for the Rebels clash.
“Thomas caught a virus a couple of days before the match against the Hurricanes, he felt better on Saturday morning but became feverish again once we got to the stadium so we had to withdraw him,” head coach Sean Everitt confirmed.
Flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain has returned home due to concussion, with Lwazi Mvovo called up in his place to take a spot on the bench. Mapimpi came through his concussion protocols on Tuesday.
“Curwin is good to go and slots straight back into the team,” said the coach.
“Sanele Nohamba did a job for us at 10 and did a good job there, but he is more cover than a starting flyhalf.”
Nohamba gets his first start at scrumhalf this week.
Andre Esterhuizen will take over the captaincy duties for Lukhanyo Am who is out this week, with Jeremy Ward taking his place.
With the disruptions minimal, the Sharks will be hoping for fewer hurdles in this match, although Everitt refused to use that as an excuse.
“We never spoke after the game about the injuries or disruptions, the guys have all trained well throughout the pre-season and we’re not going to use that as an excuse. But obviously it does have an effect on the team, especially when you have to get guys onto the bench who weren’t expecting to play.”
Saturday’s match is scheduled for 05:45 (SA time).
15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Campbell Magnay, 12 Bill 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
Substitutes: 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
Substitutes: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo