Daniel back to lead Sharks
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Springbok Keegan Daniel makes a timely return to the Sharks team.
Daniel, back from his injury lay-off (abdominal strain), will lead the Durban-based outfit into battle in their Currie Cup crunch match against the Golden Lions.
The Sharks also welcome back a number of other players to the frontline - as they prepare to take on the Lions at Ellis Park on Friday.
Springboks Lourens Adriaanse and Lwazi Mvovo - who have been released for Currie Cup duty - also bolster the side.
Stephan Lewies, who must still undergo a late fitness test, has been bracketed on the bench with Jean Droste.
However, powerful loose forward Philip van der Walt has not recovered significantly from his concussion and is not available.
Coach Robert du Preez has made a number of changes to his team.
Apart from Daniel's return at No.8, Adriaanse will start at tighthead prop.
Amongst the backs, Mvovo replaces Wandile Mjekevu, who drops down to the replacement bench.
With Pat Lambie having been recalled to the Springbok squad, Inny-Christian Radebe starts at No.10 and Garth April returns to the side to provide back-up at flyhalf.
The Sharks are currently in the third position in the standings, but need a win to guarantee themselves a play-off spot.
They can advance if they lose and get two bonus points, but that will only happen if Western Province lose to the Boland Cavaliers.
Beating the Lions will give them automatic entry into the semifinals.
Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Rhyno Smith, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Inny-Christian Radebe, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 John-Hubert Meyer, 18 Stephan Lewies/Jean Droste, 19 Khaya Majola, 20 Stefan Ungerer, 21 Garth April, 22 Wandile Mjekevu.
Date: Friday, September 30
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Ben Crouse, Stephan Geldenhuys Stephan
TMO: Willie Vos