Former England prop Matt Stevens will start on the bench for the Sharks in their Currie Cup opener against the Griquas in Kimberley.
Former England prop Matt Stevens will start on the bench for the Sharks in their Currie Cup opener against the Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.
Stevens, who has 39 Test caps for England and went on two British and Irish Lions tours, will make his debut for the defending champions having joined the Durban side from English heavyweights Saracens.
The side features a number of young players with scrum-half Cameron Wright also making his Currie Cup debut.
JC Astle, Hanco Venter and Lionel Cronje will also all feature for the first time in Sharks colours when they come off the bench.
“We've had a good week's training, there has been great energy, a lot of young guys, everyone looking forward to playing, especially those who haven't played as much rugby as they would have liked this year, so it's a great opportunity and everyone is very excited,” says coach Brad Macleod-Henderson.
“Griquas have probably had a bit more time to prepare than us, but we don't use that as an excuse, we've trained hard this week, put a few things together and the guys are excited about playing, so they're going to go out there and give it their all.”
Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 S'bura Sithole, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Tonderai Chavhanga, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Tera Mtembu (c), 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Marco Wentzel, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Dale Chadwick , 18 Matt Stevens, 19 JC Astle, 20 Francois Kleinhans, 21 Hanco Venter, 22 Lionel Cronje.
Date: Saturday, August 9
Venue: GWK Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 15:00 local (13:00 GMT, 14:00 BST)
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Francois de Bruin