The Sharks have named former Bok fly-half Butch James at inside centre for Saturday's Super Rugby clash with the Blues in Durban.
The Sharks have named former Springbok fly-half Butch James at inside centre for Saturday's Super Rugby clash with the Blues at Kings Park.
Eight returning Springboks and a further two players back from injury add to a strong Sharks matchday 22.
James starts outside Pat Lambie with full-back Louis Ludick shifting to the 13 jersey while Riaan Viljoen will be the last line of defence.
Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis continues his return from injury from the bench which has a 5/2 split in favour of the forwards.
“The Blues have always had a willingness to play from all areas of the field and if you look at the players they have – certainly in the backline – they have x-factor players all over the field,” Sharks assistant coach Grant Bashford told the Sharks website.
“They are a handful with the right ball so we need to stunt them and limit them quality ball, deny them gain-line quick ball.”
“Their line-out hasn't functioned as well as they would have liked at times this year, their scrum has also put them under a bit of pressure. We have areas we would like to put them under pressure, but that's the case with every team you play. It won't be a surprise to them in any way.
“For us, it's about regrouping really quickly and trying to finish this campaign on a high.”
The Sharks: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Louis Ludick, 12 Butch James, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Edwin Hewitt, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Danie Mienie/Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Jaco van Tonder
Date: Saturday, June 29
Kick-off: 14:50 (12:50 GMT)
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Tiaan Jonker (South Africa), Reuben Rossouw (South Africa)
Television match official: Willie Roos (South Africa)