Sharks skipper Lukhanyo Am has been ruled out for four weeks with a hand injury with Flanker Henco Venter now set to lead the team against the Cheetahs in Durban on Friday night.
Two Springboks down, one back
Fellow Springbok Sbu Nkosi picked up a niggle as well and has been replaced in the starting XV by Yaw Penxe while former Blitzboks skipper Werner Kok returns to the matchday squad on the bench.
Kok is one of just two backs selected for the Sharks bench alongside the versatile Grant Williams.
Coach Sean Everitt has otherwise looked to retain as much of the side that put the Pumas to the sword in Nelspruit last weekend with Jeremy Ward coming into the starting XV in place of Am.
“With regular captain Lukhanyo Am being unavailable for selection due to a hand injury that will see him out for approximately four weeks, Henco Venter will take over the captaincy armband for this match against his former team, as Head Coach Sean Everitt looks to keep intact a winning group,” a Sharks press release reads.
“With Am out, Jeremy Ward gets a start in the Rugby World Cup winning outside centre’s place with Yaw Penxe taking over from Sbu Nkosi (due to Sbu picking up a slight niggle) in the only two changes to last week’s victorious side. Werner Kok comes into the side where he has been named on the bench.”
Springbok loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe has been passed fit and takes up a place on the bench with Phepsi Buthelezi afforded another run out in his favoured number eight jersey.
“The good news is that Sikhumbuzo Notshe has been cleared fit after sustaining a hamstring strain against the Bulls and after missing out the Sharks’ victory over the Pumas last weekend has been named on a bench laden with forwards,” the Sharks announced.
“Everitt has selected a 6-2 split amongst the replacements in anticipation of a highly contested physical forward battle.”
THe Super Rugby Unlocked clash between the Sharks and the Chetahs will kick off at 19:00 on Friday 6 November.
Sharks starting XV and replacements
1. Ox Nche
2. Dan Jooste
3. John-Hubert Meyer
4. JJ van der Mescht
5. Hyron Andrews
6. Dylan Richardson
7. Henco Venter (c)
8. Phepsi Buthelezi
9. Sanele Nohamba
10. Curwin Bosch
11. Madosh Tambwe
12. Marius Louw
13. Jeremy Ward
14. Yaw Penxe
15. Manie Libbok
16. Kerron van Vuuren
17. Mzamo Majola
18. Michael Kumbirai
19. Ruben van Heerden
20. Thembelani Bholi
21. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
22. Grant Williams
23. Werner Kok
The following Sharks players were not considered for selection due to injury:
- Aphelele Fassi – Right shoulder injury
- James Venter – Ankle strain
- Lukhanyo Am – Fractured metter carpal (right hand)
- Sbu Nkosi – Slight hamstring niggle
- Thomas du Toit – Left calf injury