Sharks ring changes for Chiefs clash
Cape Town - Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold has made a number of changes, including a positional switch, to his starting lineup as they prepare to face the Chiefs in a Super Rugby clash in New Plymouth, New Zealand on Friday (09:35 kick-off).
With Tendai Mtawarira rested as per SARU requirements, Keegan Daniel will captain the team from the side of the scrum. In other changes, JP Pietersen moves to right wing with Paul Jordaan coming into the team at outside centre while veteran scrumhalf Michael Claassens replaces Cobus Reinach.
A number of changes have been made in the pack where the Sharks will have an all new front row as Dale Chadwick, Kyle Cooper and Lourens Adriaanse replace Mtawarira, Franco Marais and Coenie Oosthuizen respectively.
In the final change to the pack, Daniel du Preez returns at No.8 in place of Phillip van der Walt.
Gold was extremely happy with a win from the first game of the tour against the Highlanders.
“The win against the Highlanders was a great confidence boost for the players. I’m proud of the fight and immense character they showed to grind out the win."
Gold acknowledged that their match against the Chiefs although very important in the context of their season, would be extremely tough.
“We are playing the best team in New Zealand this Friday and it’s going to be a massive game for us. Throughout this season they’ve shown their brilliance on attack and if you make a mistake, they will pounce on it and hurt you. We have a huge amount of respect for them and are under no illusions about the enormity of the challenge.
“We have an opportunity to create history in New Zealand this Friday, and we need to be clinical and take our chances. Discipline is going to be key and we need to stay grounded. We believe we have the balance of the team right with the energy and exuberance of youth in players such as Daniel, Jean-Luc, Garth and Hyron, as well as the experience of seasoned campaigners like Keegan, Michael, Odwa, Jean and JP," said Gold.
15. Willie le Roux, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Garth April, 9. Michael Claassens, 8. Daniel du Preez, 7. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Keegan Daniel (captain), 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Etienne Oosthuizen, 3. Lourens Adriaanse, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Dale Chadwick
Substitutes: 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17. Thomas du Toit, 18. Coenie Oosthuizen, 19. Hyron Andrews, 20. Jean Deysel, 21. Stefan Ungerer, 22. Joe Pietersen, 23. Odwa Ndungane