Sharks coach John Plumtree has been able to name a settled side to take on the Reds in their penultimate Vodacom Super Rugby tour match in Brisbane on Friday, making just four changes to last week’s starting line-up, two of them enforced through injury.
The experienced JC Janse van Rensburg, on loan from the MTN Lions (he has played in 118 matches for them since 2006 and was a Springbok tour member to the UK at the end of last year), will start at loosehead prop, allowing Wiehahn Herbst to play in his favoured position at tighthead. He has been retained after two outstanding performances, allowing Jannie du Plessis a mini-break after starting almost every game so far and carrying a heavy workload for The Sharks.
With Lubabalo Mtembu nursing some bruising picked up against the Highlanders and unavailable for the match, captain Keegan Daniel shifts back to eighthman, opening a spot for Jean Deysel (pictured), to complete an all-Springbok loose-forward trio.
In the backline, the loss of Frans Steyn last week means JP Pietersen will start at outside centre, handing Piet Lindeque his second start in three matches.
Monde Hadebe gets the opportunity to make his debut at Super Rugby level, having been named on the bench for Craig Burden who has returned home.
After two outings for The Sharks XV to gain invaluable match fitness, Willem Alberts has returned to the side and has been named on the bench (which features a total of three Springboks).
The Sharks team is: Riaan Viljoen, Piet Lindeque, JP Pietersen, Meyer Bosman, Lwazi Mvovo, Pat Lambie, Charl McLeod, Keegan Daniel (captain), Jean Deysel, Marcell Coetzee, Franco van der Merwe, Pieter Steph du Toit, Wiehahn Herbst, Kyle Cooper, JC Janse van Rensburg. Replacements: Monde Hadebe, Jannie du Plessis, Anton Bresler, Derick Minnie, Willem Alberts,Tian Meyer, Odwa Ndungane.