Director of Rugby Jake White has stuck with the same Sharks team for this SaturdayÂ¿s Super Rugby showdown with the Hurricanes.
In a show of support for the squad that defeated the Bulls last weekend, Director of Rugby Jake White has stuck with the same Sharks team for this Saturday's Super Rugby showdown with the Hurricanes.
Continuity is one of the key factors for success and being able to name an unchanged line-up is a rare luck for a coach.
It is a reward for outstanding performances and testament to the team's efforts as well as a thumbs' up to the medical and conditioning staff who have the players in such good physical shape.
The Sharks will take a lot of confidence out of their first round match last week, while the Hurricanes are only now starting their campaign [the Australian and New Zealand sides will start a week earlier during the June break due to a heavier test schedule for the Springboks].
Some might argue that having to fly halfway across the world to start the Super Rugby programme is a distinct advantage, but it appears this is exactly what the Hurricanes want.
“Touring early for anyone is either very good or very bad. You can either get some points away from home then take those points back home, and some sides have proved that it works for them, or you miss out,” said White.
“The Hurricanes have asked SANZAR for this because for the last couple of years they have been playing in South Africa first up.
“They want to tour early. So as much as read into the fact that they've had to tour early, it's probably one of their requests, because you're allowed certain requests to SANZAR. I'm sure they want to get their tour done and dusted early on.
“Obviously mentally they like to tour early and as much as we think it's a bonus [them coming here early], maybe it's what they want.”
Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 S'bura Sithole.
Date: Saturday, February 22
Kick off: 17:05 (local, 15:05 GMT)
Venue: Kings Park Stadium, Durban
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Stefan Breytenbach (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)