Durban - Keegan Daniel captains a Sharks side filled with experience and a strong blend of youth for their opening Currie Cup clash against the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday night (19:00 kick-off).
With the Sharks’ Super Rugby team playing their quarter-final match against the Lions in Johannesburg the following day, the Currie Cup team will therefore not feature a number of frontline players for the opening match of the tournament.
This scenario creates an ideal opportunity to test the depth of the Sharks squad and the youngsters will need to make the step-up.
Daniel's experience as well as versatility makes him the ideal leader.
Wing Odwa Ndungane and outside centre S'bura Sithole will be called on to rally the young backline and provide calmness and leadership.
Daniel will also call on fellow loose-forwards Jacques Vermeulen and Khaya Majola to lead by example, both of who have represented the Sharks on numerous occasions.
New signings Tyler Paul and Ross Geldenhuys, who both played Super Rugby for the Kings, have been named in the Sharks team.
Geldenhuys has signed a one-year contract with the Durbanites and will bring vital experience to the front row.
Free State Cheetahs
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rosco Soecman, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Niell Jordaan, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Charles Marais
Substitutes: 16 Ox Nche, 17 Reinach Venter, 18 Rynier Bernardo, 19 Chris Dry, 20 Zee Mkhabela, 21 JW Jonker, 22 Cecil Afrika
15 Courtney Winnaar, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 S’bura Sithole, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Ilunga Mukendi, 10 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 9 Rowan Gouws, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Wian Vosloo, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Kieron van Vuuren, 1 Mzamo Majola