Du Toit back for Sharks
Du Toit back for SharksSHARE
Pieter-Steph du Toit returns to bolster the Sharks as they head to Kimberley to face their hoodoo team, Griquas, in a Currie Cup crunch match.
Du Toit, a Springbok training squad member, has returned to full fitness after a chest injury robbed him of a chance to feature in the mid-year Tests against Italy, Scotland and Samoa.
His return, to make his first start in this year's Currie Cup campaign, comes in the wake of the shoulder injury that has ruled out Springbok veteran Marco Wentzel – who appears to be set for several months on the sidelines.
The team for the trip to Kimberley, where the Sharks have not won a Currie Cup match in three years, shows several other changes – some rotational and some the result of injuries.
Edwin Hewitt comes in at lock for Peet Marais, who drops down to the replacement bench.
Wiehan Herbst is at tighthead prop for the injured Rayno Gerber and Kyle Cooper is at hooker for Craig Burden.
The only change to the backline will see Charl McLeod start at scrumhalf ahead Cobus Reinach, who drops down to the bench.
Jean Deysel, who was nursing a few bruises, has been passed fit and will take his place at flank – with Jacques Botes retaining the captaincy for this important game.
"Griquas are a team that never lie down, we saw that against the Lions last week," Sharks backline coach Sean Everitt said.
"They had their backs to the wall at one stage, but they just kept going.
"And that's what we've seen from them in all their games. They came from behind against Province, against us too.
"They are a team that keep coming at you, they have big hearts and they're very brave. We are going to have to really defend well and concentrate on staying within our systems, that is going to be crucial."
Forwards coach Brad Macleod-Henderson added that physicality is going to be important and believes that matching the home side blow for blow will be crucial.
"In the first game against Griquas we were maybe just a bit underdone, they played well and physically dominated us a bit. We want to make sure we are physically up for the challenge, it's always tough going to Kimberley but we are looking forward to the game," Macleod-Henderson said.
"The first game against Griquas we were maybe just a bit underdone, they played well and physically dominated us a bit. We want to make sure we are physically up for the challenge, it's always tough going to Kimberley, but we are looking forward to the game."
Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Sizo Maseko, 13 Louis Ludik, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Butch James, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Jacques Botes (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Edwin Hewitt, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Danie Mienie.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Peet Marais, 19 Justin Downey, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Fred Zeilinga, 22 Jaco van Tonder.
Date: Saturday, September 14
Venue: GWK Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha, Francois de Bruin
TMO: Willie Roos