Competitive rugby returns to South Africa when the Sharks take on the Lions in the first match of the Super Rugby Unlocked campaign.
Sharks vs Lions: Super Rugby Unlocked preview
The Sharks had started the Super Rugby campaign playing an expansive game, but they come into this match seemingly looking to build from a strong tight five.
The Lions are outweighed in the front division, but they are used to that when facing their South African rivals, and they will look to push the tempo.
That expansive game will be aided by the cooler weather prevalent in Durban on Friday 9 October, but the possibility of rain won’t thrill the Lions.
Sean Everitt’s Sharks looked static during their Super Fan Saturday clash with the Bulls, but the coach will be hoping his troops are switched on from the word go.
Everitt has backed scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba to have a huge season for the Sharks.
“We know he is a livewire scrumhalf,” he said this week.
“Not only is he fast around the field but he certainly understands the game of rugby.
“Funnily enough, even at his young and tender age, he brings leadership to the team as well. He knows his role and responsibilities and he is able to conduct the traffic around the back of the scrums, rucks and mauls.”
Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen is looking to Willem Alberts to reinforce his slight tight five and add experience to the young pack.
Take a look at the key matchups for this Super Rugby Unlocked match.
Sharks vs Lions: Follow Super Rugby Unlocked live scores here
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Super Rugby Unlocked teams
Starting XV: 15 Manie Libbok, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Werner Kok, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Phepsi Buthelezi, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Dylan Richardson, 1 Ox Nche. Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Celimpilo Gumede, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Thaakir Abrahams
Starting XV: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Burger Odendaal, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Dillon Smit; 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole. Replacements (from): 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 MJ Pelser, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Morné van den Berg, 23 Gianni Lombard, 24 Wandisile Simelane, 25 Ruan Dreyer.