Minimal changes from Sharks

Date published: May 17 2018

The Sharks have kept changes to a minimum as they prepare to face the Chiefs in an intriguing Super Rugby clash at Kings Park on Saturday.

Philip van der Walt is over the knock to the face he took against the Highlanders and after missing the Bulls match, returns to action, with Jacques Vermeulen shifting to the bench.

Amongst the backs, there is rotation at scrum-half for Louis Schreuder and Cameron Wright, likewise Lwazi Mvovo who trades jerseys with Makazole Mapimpi on the wing.

With the South African Conference congested, it makes for an interesting run towards the knockout rounds, but it also means all five teams are under pressure to not let things slip.

Looking to respond after last week’s loss to the Bulls, Sharks fly-half Robert du Preez said: “We’ve had some success this season against New Zealand teams, we lift ourselves and maybe that’s part of the problem when we play home unions, the boys aren’t as mentally there as against the Kiwi sides which obviously isn’t right.

“But the Chiefs will know that we’ve done well against their fellow New Zealand sides and will prepare for that.

“The log is wide open, the Bulls, Jaguares and us are all on the same points with the Stormers one point behind, so there is a lot to play for and it’s still in our hands.”

He added: “We aren’t in the situation where we have to depend on other teams winning or losing, we just need to win all our games, then we’ll be home and dry. We’re positive.

“We know we messed up against the Bulls, but this weekend is another chance to fix our mistakes and we’re looking forward to the game.”

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha (c), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Makazole Mapimpi

Date: Saturday, May 19
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 15:05 local (13:05 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Archie Sehlako (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)