Sharks prop Tendai Mtawarira returns for vital Stormers clash

Date published: June 13 2019

Both Tendai Mtawarira and Cameron Wright return from injury in what is a huge boost for the Sharks as they attempt to secure a top-eight finish when they face the Stormers on Saturday.

‘Beast’ Mtawarira takes over from Mzamo Majola in the front-row, with Majola playing off the bench while Ruben van Heerden will move to the starting line-up this week in the absence of Ruan Botha, who has been battling with a nerve impingement on his foot.

There is just one change to the backline, Aphelele Fassi reverting to full-back for Curwin Bosch who has an ankle injury.

Hooker Craig Burden has tweaked his hamstring and is also unavailable which opens the door of opportunity for Cullen Collopy. Gideon Koegelenberg provides lock cover on the bench and utility back Rhyno Smith is also named among the replacements.

The Crusaders are the only team to have a bye in an action-packed final round of pool matches. The New Zealanders are the reigning champions and have buttoned up top spot on the overall table with an unassailable lead after the completion of their fixtures.

The Jaguares have also secured their position as Conference winners while the four remaining South African sides are separated by just three points going into the final weekend.

Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (c), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Cullen Collopy, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Luke Stringer, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Rhyno Smith

Date: Saturday, June 15
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 15:05 local (14:05 BST, 13:05 GMT)
Referee: AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa), Divan Uys (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)