Durban - The Sharks welcome back a number of frontline players for Friday’s do-or-die Currie Cup clash against the Golden Lions in Johannesburg.
With so much riding on the outcome, the return to action of captain Keegan Daniel and possibly Stephan Lewies (who must still undergo a late fitness test and has been bracketed in with Jean Droste on the bench), as well as Springboks Lourens Adriaanse and Lwazi Mvovo who have been released back to the union, comes at a most opportune time.
The Sharks are currently in third position on the log, with enough points to go through to the semi-finals, but without any guarantee, aside from the fact that they hold their collective destiny in their own hands.
Beating the Lions will give them automatic entry into the semis, but with Western Province likely to defeat Boland at home, the Sharks know that this match is an effective knock-out.
Daniel returns to captain the side at No 8, as Philip van der Walt has not recovered significantly from his concussion.
Head coach Robert du Preez has made just one more change to the pack, with the aforementioned Adriaanse returning to pack down at tighthead prop.
Amongst the backs, Mvovo is the only change, coming in for Wandile Mjekevu who shifts to the bench.
With Pat Lambie having been co-opted into the Bok squad for Saturday’s Rugby Championship match against the Wallabies, Garth April returns to the side to provide back-up at flyhalf.
Kick-off for Friday’s match is scheduled for 17:00.
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Koch Marx, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Ruan Ackermann, 6 Kwagga Smith (captain), 5 Bobby de Wee, 4 JP du Preez, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Dylan Smith
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Fabian Booysen, 19 Cyle Brink, 20 Dillon Smit, 21 Howard Mnisi, 22 Sylvian Mahuza
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Rhyno Smith, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Inny Radebe, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit
Substitutes: 16 Franco Marais, 17 John-Hubert Meyer, 18 Stephan Lewies/Jean Droste, 19 Khaya Majola, 20 Stefan Ungerer, 21 Garth April, 22 Wandile Mjekevu