Durban - Director of rugby Jake White
has made his first changes to the Cell C Sharks line-up as they prepare to face the Reds at Kings Park on Saturday (17:05 kick-off), reports Sharks website
editor Michael Marnewick
After naming the same match-23 for three matches in a row, White was forced into making changes for this weekend's duel.JP Pietersen
is named to start on the wing, S’bura Sithole at centre and Patrick Lambie
returns to the side after missing the Lions game due to illness.
Pietersen returned from his Japanese club commitments this week, but testament to the player’s pedigree and experience and the fact that the pair know each other so well from their Springbok days together as player and coach, White had no hesitation in naming him to start in place of Odwa Ndungane
who is away on compassionate leave.
Lambie was given bed rest after being struck low with illness on Friday after initially being named to play, with Frans Steyn
slotting in at flyhalf. With Lambie now fully recovered, he will return at No 10 with Steyn going back to inside centre
The loss of Paul Jordaan
to a knee injury means there will be a completely new centre pairing, with S’bura Sithole slotting in at No 13 alongside Steyn. White made no secret of the fact that Sithole is a great talent and raved about his contribution in the pre-season match against the Lions, at outside centre.
Sithole’s place on the bench has been taken by Jaco van Tonder while Tera Mtembu comes in for Jean Deysel
While the threat posed by the Reds and Australian halfback pairing of Will Genia and Quade Cooper is immense, White feels confident that the Sharks can contain the threat the duo pose.
“They are a good combination, but the Sharks have had quite a good record against the Reds, and the group of Springboks in the Sharks team have also had a lot of success against the Aussies, so, as much as they are a threat and are the focal point for their game, we are confident that in past performances, both from a South African and a franchise point of view, we should be able to handle them," said White.
The Sharks will once again hope to be playing in front of a big crowd which in turn motivates them even further.
“One way to get people to the stadium is by playing well and winning, and this weekend we have a 5pm kick-off against a Reds team that has won the competition and like the players, I’m hoping we get even more supporters in this weekend, and an even better vibe. Because there is no doubt that the winning brings the fans, and them being here helps us win.” Teams:Sharks
15. SP Marais, 14. JP Pietersen
, 13. S’bura Sithole, 12. Frans Steyn
, 11. Lwazi Mvovo
, 10. Patrick Lambie
, 9. Cobus Reinach
, 8. Ryan Kankowski
, 7. Willem Alberts
, 6. Marcell Coetzee
, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Anton Bresler
, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper
, 17. Dale Chadwick
, 18. Lourens Adriaanse
, 19. Stephan Lewies
, 20. Tera Mtembu, 21. Charl McLeod, 22. Heimar Williams
, 23. Jaco van TonderReds
15. Aidan Toua, 14. Rod Davies, 13. Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12. Mike Harris, 11. Lachlan Turner, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Will Genia, 8. Jake Schatz, 7. Liam Gill, 6. Ed Quirk, 5. James Horwill (captain), 4. Rob Simmons, 3. Greg Holmes, 2. Saia Faingaa, 1. James Slipper
Substitutes: 16. James Hanson, 17. Ben Daley, 18. Jono Owen, 19. Ed O`Donoghue, 20. Beau Robinson, 21. Nicholas Frisby, 22. Ben Tapuai, 23. Dom Shipperley