Sharks set for biggest test yet
Cape Town - Sharks coach Gary Gold believes that Saturday's clash against the Crusaders in Durban will be his side's biggest challenge so far this season.
Still undefeated in the competition and top of the combined log, the Sharks have beaten the Jaguares at home as well as the Stormers and Kings away while they played to a 16-16 draw against the Bulls last weekend.
But this weekend - the first of the Sharks' five fixtures against New Zealand opposition - offers up a new challenge entirely.
"We have a huge amount of respect for the Crusaders team, who have consistently set the benchmark in the history of this competition," Gold said after announcing his team on Thursday.
"It is not only their style of play that is impressive, but also the quality of players they produce.
"The core of their team is made-up of world class All Blacks and the fact that they have played together for such a long time, and know each other so well makes them a formidable outfit.
"This is obviously the first of the five New Zealand teams we will be playing in 2016 and will be our toughest challenge to date. It will give us a clear benchmark of the progress we’ve made. We understand the magnitude of this game and if you want to succeed in this competition you need to beat the best."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:15.