Botes to skipper Sharks
Durban - Flanker Jacques Botes has been named as captain of the Sharks for their clash against the Leopards at Kings park on Friday night, replacing Keegan Daniel.
"Keegan will take a break, he has a bit of wear and tear, but he'll come off the bench later in the game, but I want to give him a little less time on the field this week," Sharks coach John Plumtree told Sharks website editor, Michael Marnewick.
The Sharks will be looking to retain their unbeaten home record in what should be an exciting Currie Cup clash.
Both sides generally look to play attractive, attacking rugby, and if the weather, which has cleared dramatically after a cold snap early in the week, remains good, there is no reason why an exciting game won't be on display for fans.
In team changes from last week, Plumtree has given some of his hard-working players a break while looking to retain much of the continuity that has taken them to second place on the log.
The loss of Lwazi Mvovo and Patrick Lambie to the Springboks this week has opened doors, with Sibusiso Sithole returning to the starting line-up and a new-look centre partnership being established.
"I'm giving Stefan Terblanche a bit of a break to give Meyer Bosman and Marius Joubert the opportunity to work together, I'd like to see what they can show me as a partnership as well as individually," The Sharks coach explains.
Conrad Hoffman will get a start this weekend to partner Frederic Michalak. "It's an opportunity to see what he can do after a long lay-off, he's keen to show me what he's capable of," said Plumtree.
The final change to the starting line-up sees Wiehahn Herbst start for Eugene van Staden at tighthead prop with Alistair Hargreaves coming into the team for the first time in the current campaign.
"The Leopards have conceded a few points this year, but they've also scored a few, so they have plenty of attacking threats and will come here with an attitude of wanting to attack and put on a good show. Defensively, we're going to have to be really up for it.
"Our defence was good against Western Province, but it was easier in the rain. Hopefully there won't be any on Friday. They will look to stress us and we have to make sure defensively we're on target - defence is a big focus for us this weekend."
15. Louis Ludik, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Marius Joubert, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Sibusiso Sithole, 10. Frederic Michalak, 9. Conrad Hoffmann, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Marcell Coetzee, 6. Jacques Botes (captain), 5. Ross Skeate, 4. Anton Bresler, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Craig Burden, 1. Dale Chadwick
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Eugene van Staden, 18. Alistair Hargreaves, 19. Keegan Daniel, 20. Charl McLeod, 21. Adrian Jacobs 22. Stefan Terblanche