Vodacom Super Rugby
Michalak to start at No 10
Frederic Michalak (Gallo)
Johannesburg - Captain John Smit has been dropped to the bench for the Sharks’ decisive Super Rugby clash against the Bulls at Loftus on Saturday.
Bismarck du Plessis comes in ahead of the Springbok captain, with his brother, Jannie also returning to contention after passing a late fitness test on a knee injury that forced him to miss the last three games.
Smit is one of five team changes made by coach John Plumtree.
Eugene van Staden, Jacques Botes and Steven Sykes make way while Jean Deysel is back after a two week suspension.
Second rower Alistair Hargreaves has been promoted to the starting XV.
The only change at the back sees the inclusion of newly signed French utility back Frederic Michalak in the place of Louis Ludik who moves to the bench.
He slots in at flyhalf with exciting Patrick Lambie moving to fullback.
Willem Alberts has recovered from the shoulder injury that kept him out against the Lions last week, but must make do with a place on the bench.
The match in Pretoria is a "winner take all" meeting as the side that ends up victorious is guaranteed a place in the competition playoffs.TeamsSharks:
15 Patrick Lambie, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Stefan Terblanche (capt), 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Gerhard Mostert, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 John Smit, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Ross Skeate, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Adrian Jacobs, 22 Louis Ludik Bulls:
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12
Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8
Pierre Spies, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield
(captain), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean
Substitutes: 16 Gary Botha, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19
Danie Rossouw, 20 Fourie du Preez, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Akona