Sharks axe their captain
Sharks coach John Plumtree wielded a heavy axe, as reached for the panic button in order to get his team's stuttering campaign back on track.
Sharks coach John Plumtree wielded a heavy axe, as reached for the panic button in order to get his team's stuttering Super Rugby campaign back on track.
Top of the list of the numerous changes ahead of their first tour match, against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday, is the axing of regular captain Keegan Daniel, who drops down to the replacement bench.
This comes in the same week that another seasoned player, Springbok Ryan Kankowski, was left at home in Durban over his apparent lack of form.
Jean Deysel takes over the captaincy from Keegan Daniel
The loose forward trio has been completely re-arranged.
Bok firebrand Marcell Coetzee, who has started every game and carried a heavy workload, makes way for Lions loan player Derick Minnie to make his debut for the Sharks.
Lubabalo Mtembu gets his first start at Super Rugby level, having gained three caps off the bench - replacing Daniel at No.8.
In the absence of injured Bok Tendai Mtawarira, Wiehahn Herbst will play at loosehead prop.
Craig Burden starts ahead of Kyle Cooper at hooker, after the latter kept the Bok No.2 out for the last four matches.
There are also changes in the second row, with another player with a heavy workload being shifted to the bench.
Franco van der Merwe, who has started all eight games this campaign, has been replaced by Pieter-Steph du Toit - who played at flank last week, and he will partner Anton Bresler.
In the backline there are more changes.
Charl McLeod replaces Cobus Reinach at scrumhalf.
Francois Steyn will partner Meyer Bosman in midfield in the absence of the injured Paul Jordaan, who returned home with a knee ligament injury in the final change.
Piet Lindeque, back from Pretoria where he featured for Tuks in the Varsity Cup and the Blue Bulls in the Vodacom Cup, will feature on the left wing.
Sharks: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Francois Steyn, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Piet Lindeque, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Jean Deysel (captain), 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Wiehahn Herbst.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Franco van der Merwe, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 S'bura Sithole.
Date: Saturday, April 27
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Time: 19.35 (09.35 SA time; -7.35 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant Referees: Glen Jackson, Shane McDermott
TMO: Glenn Newman