Durban - Springboks Pat Lambie and Willem Alberts have passed late fitness tests and are selected in Sharks’ 22-man squad for their Super Rugby clash against the Cheetahs at Kings Park on Saturday.
According to Sharks website
editor Michael Marnewick
, Lambie will start at fullback in place of Louis Ludik who plays off the bench, with Alberts on the bench.
Loose forward Jacques Botes also passed a late fitness test and is included alongside Alberts on the bench.
Pieter-Steph du Toit, who left the field in the first half of last week’s match with an ankle injury, has been bracketed in with Jean Deysel amongst the reserves, as have the backline duo of Meyer Bosman and Paul Jordaan.
Jandre Marais will start at lock with Steven Sykes not declared fit yet and Du Toit still not cleared. There are no other changes to the team that beat the Bulls last week.
The Cheetahs gave the South African Conference leading Stormers a proper run for their money last weekend and no doubt will prove competitive in this final match for them. With no way of finishing in the top six, this will be their last hurrah before the Currie Cup and with a couple of players leaving for a taste of European rugby, they will want to finish on a high.
For the Sharks, come kick-off time at 17:05 on Saturday, they will have a good idea of what is needed to secure a place in the qualifiers with the Reds and Hurricanes both within touch and with a last gasp chance to secure a valuable top six finish.
There is no doubt that this match will have an important bearing on the way the pool stages finish, with a nail-biting wait to see the outcome of the Bulls-Lions match in the final game of the weekend. Teams:
15 Pat Lambie, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Jandre Marais, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Pieter-Steph du Toit/Jean Deysel, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Meyer Bosman/Paul Jordaan, 22 Louis LudikCheetahs:
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Barry Geel, 11 Philip Snyman, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane
Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Marcel van der Merwe, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Jacques Coetzee, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Andries Strauss