Sharks head coach Robert du Preez has named his side to face the Reds in Brisbane on Friday, with Lwazi Mvovo set to play his 100th game.
Patrick Lambie will lead with Tera Mtembu deputising a team boasting a strong mix of youth and experience. Young players who have shone have been given the opportunity to impress further and there is a healthy look to the side.
“We rewarded the guys that have really done well so far – there were no surprises,” said Du Preez.
“I think this is an exciting side and I’m really looking forward to seeing how we go on Friday. It’s going to be a tough challenge.”
Mvovo will run out to join a select group of centurions and head coach Du Preez expressed his joy at this accomplishment.
“I’m very pleased for Lwazi on gaining his 100th Vodacom Super Rugby cap – that’s a massive achievement,” he said. “He’s a guy who always sets high standards for himself and it’s great to have a guy with that sort of experience in our set-up who always sets a good example for the young guys in the team. Hopefully we’ll give him a good present on Friday night.”
Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (c), 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Clement Poitrenaud
Date: Friday, February 24
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 20:00 local (09:00 GMT)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Nic Berry (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)