The Sharks delayed naming their team for Friday's Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Vodacom Bulls until after Wednesday afternoon's training session to allow for fitness tests on Patrick Lambie and Willem Alberts, with both unfortunately not making it.
Both suffered injuries in the Springbok series against the touring English and faced a battle to recover in time for this vital clash, but it was decided not to risk the pair.
Ryan Kankowski's freshness, hunger and admirable performance in the final Test against England has seen him coming into the starting line-up with Marcell Coetzee and captain Keegan Daniel completing the loose-forward trio.
In the second row, the loss of Steven Sykes to injury opens the door for Pieter-Steph du Toit to gain his first start having played off the bench on four previous occasions, the youngster relishing the opportunity after shining in the Junior Boks' recent IRB Junior World Champs crowning glory. He will partner Anton Bresler.
There is no change to the preferred Sharks and Springbok front row of Beast Mtawarira and brothers Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis.
Fred Michalak, also fresh off a great return to the national French side, will partner Charl McLeod at halfback with Frans Steyn back with The Sharks and starting a potentially powerful midfield partnership with Tim Whitehead.
Lwazi Mvovo, JP Pietersen and Louis Ludik complete the team.
The Sharks team:
15. Louis Ludik, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Tim Whitehead, 12. Frans Steyn, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Frederic Michalak, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Marcell Coetzee, 6. Keegan Daniel (captain), 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Anton Bresler, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis , 1. Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Jandre Marais, 19. Jean Deysel, 20. Cobus Reinach, 21. Meyer Bosman, 22. Odwa Ndungane.