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Du Plessis returns for Sharks
Jannie du Plessis (Gallo Images)
Durban - The Sharks have made three changes to their starting XV for Saturday’s Super Rugby clash against the Reds at Kings Park in Durban, with Springboks Jannie du Plessis and Charl McLeod back in the fold.
Kick-off is at 17:05.
Prop Du Plessis started the first match of the campaign against the Bulls three weeks ago, but has since played second fiddle to Wiehahn Herbst.
McLeod has played off the bench in all three games when Frenchman Frederic Michalak occupied the scrumhalf position.
"It’s a good opportunity for him (Du Plessis) to have a start," coach John Plumtree said.
"Wiehahn has been going really well so he’ll provide that impact off the bench, it’s the same scenario with Charl McLeod who also gets an opportunity this weekend."
The final change made by Plumtree was a forced one after Ross Skeate was ruled out due to a neck injury and Anton Bresler drafted in instead.
"Ross has a disc lesion in his neck, nothing serious, but it can go at any time," team doctor Ewoudt van der Linde added.
"He has no symptoms and no pain, but some weakness in the arm, we are resting him for a week on the advice of the specialist and will then test him again next week to see if there is still weakness."
On the bench, Jandre Marais replaced Skeate, while Louis Ludik was named ahead of Paul Jordaan.
The match against the defending champions is the second and last at home for the Sharks, ahead of their tour to Australia and New Zealand.
"We have to work really hard this weekend, the Reds are a championship side, a very confident side, a winning side," Plumtree said.
"We have a big job to do here on Saturday."
15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Dale Chadwick
Substitutes: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Jacques Botes, 20 Frederic Michalak, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Louis Ludik
15 Rod Davies, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Ben Lucas, 9 Will Genia, 8 Radike Samo, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Van Humphries, 4 James Horwill (captain), 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 1 Greg Holmes
Substitutes: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Jake Schatz, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Luke Morahan