Smit starts for Sharks
Durban - John Smit will start his first game of the Vodacom Super Rugby season at tighthead when the Sharks face the Melbourne Rebels on Friday. Kick-off is at 10:40 SA time.
A calf injury kept the Sharks captain out of the team's opening game of the season, but he was then brought back slowly off the bench in the last two matches.
For the first game, Smit was initially named to start at loosehead prop, while he has featured at hooker in his appearances off the bench, and now on Friday he will start in place of Jannie du Plessis in the No 3 jersey, typifying his versatility.
It will also be the first time Smit will lead the team out onto the field, with Stefan Terblanche having captained the team in the first three matches.
In other changes to the starting line-up from last weekend, Lwazi Mvovo replaces the injured JP Pietersen on the left wing, while Ryan Kankowski returns at No 8 to restore the familiar loose-trio combination with Willem Alberts and Keegan Daniel.
The good news for the Sharks is that Odwa Ndungane has recovered sufficiently to take up his place on the wing after he was on the receiving end of a nasty spear tackle last weekend that saw him hospitalised.
The final change to the Sharks' match-day 22 sees Adrian Jacobs adding depth off the bench.
15. Louis Ludik, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Stefan Terblanche, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Keegan Daniel, 5. Alistair Hargreaves, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. John Smit (captain), 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Jannie du Plessis, 18. Anton Bresler, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Conrad Hoffmann, 21. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22. Adrian Jacobs