The Sharks will undertake their first-ever Super Rugby challenge in South America when they face the Jaguares on Saturday.
Director of Rugby Gary Gold has made a number of changes, from rotational, to rest to welcoming back players from injury for this vital clash with the internationally laden Argentinian side.
Despite the confidence they would have taken out of their impressive win over the Hurricanes last weekend, Gold believes that they cannot for one second think of taking a foot off the gas.
“This is a week where we really need to stay grounded, we haven’t achieved anything yet and we still have some really tough encounters ahead. We’re still in the fight in our pool and the games ahead are going to be critically important.” he admits.
“If we think the Jaguares will be easy in Buenos Aires, we have another thing coming. They’re a team improving every week they play together, there is no doubting their passion.”
Lwazi Mvovo has been given the week off, as per Springbok requirements, and this opens the door for Odwa Ndungane to start.
Campaign captain Pat Lambie starts at fly-half this week after last week’s return to action off the bench in the two changes to the backline.
Amongst the forwards, Jean Deysel replaces Jean-Luc du Preez who was not considered for selection after sustaining a minor injury in training on Tuesday, while Etienne Oosthuizen, who has carried a heavy workload, will play off the bench with Lubabalo Mtyanda named to start.
In the final change to the starting XV, Lourens Adriaanse makes way for Coenie Oosthuizen in the front row, while there is a welcome return to action for Tera Mtembu who has been named on the bench after missing much of the season due to injury.
Sharks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Pat Lambie (c), 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle/Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Tera Mtembu, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Garth April, 23 S’bura Sithole/Joe Pietersen
Date: Saturday, May 14
Venue: Vélez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires
Kick-off: 17:40 local (20:40 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: Juan Sylvestre, Damian Schneider
TMO: Santiago Borsani