Lambie at pivot for Sharks
Patrick Lambie (Gallo Images)
Durban - Sharks coach John Plumtree has resisted the temptation to throw all his returning Springboks into the starting XV for their final regular season Currie Cup encounter against Griquas in Durban on Friday.
Patrick Lambie is the only one of the seven available Boks that have been thrust into the line-up, while hooker Craig Burden, prop Jannie du Plessis, flanker Marcell Coetzee and wing Lwazi Mvovo have all been included on the bench.
Springbok regulars Tendai Mtawarira and Willem Alberts have been given a break.
Utility back Lambie has been named at flyhalf, in place of Meyer Bosman, in one of three changes to the side that beat the Free State Cheetahs 37-30 in Bloemfontein last week.
Cobus Reinach also makes the run-on team ahead of Charl McLeod at scrumhalf, while the final change is an enforced one with hooker Pieter Dixon, who fractured his arm, making way for Kyle Cooper.
The table-topping Sharks have already secured a home semi-final by virtue of guaranteeing themselves a place in the top two, but will be looking for one more victory to book a potential home final.
“We’ve put ourselves in a nice position, but we know how tough Griquas are,” Plumtree said.
“They’ve knocked off almost everyone this year, so it’s going to be a tough match.
“We’ve got a lot of respect for them. In the past we haven’t had too much trouble with them, especially here in Durban, but we think this side’s got a little bit more to them.”
15 Louis Ludik, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Jandre Marais, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Substitutes: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18 Peet Marais, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Lwazi Mvovo.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Jean Stemmet, 12 Walter Venter, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Leon Karemaker, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5Martin Muller, 4 Ligtoring Landman, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes (captain), 1 Steph Roberts.
Substitutes: 16 Matt Dobson, 17 Ivann Espag, 18 Edwin Hewitt, 19 Wesley Wilkins, 20 Jacques Coetzee, 21 Marnitz Boshoff, 22 Richard Lawson.