Whitehead back for Sharks
Whitehead back for SharksSHARE
Tim Whitehead will make his return from injury against Western Province at Newlands in one of five changes to the Sharks as the Durban side continue to rotate their players.
Veteran flyhalf Butch James replaces the promising young Fred Zeilinga to earn his 50th Currie Cup cap for the Sharks whilst Sizo Maseko comes in for Odwa Ndungane who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Up front there has been a shuffle in the front row with Danie Mienie getting an opportunity at loosehead prop and Rayno Gerber replacing tighthead Wiehahn Herbst who drops to the bench.
"We've made a few rotational changes," explained backline coach Sean Everitt. "Butch James comes in for Fred Zeilinga in a purely rotational switch. Fred has done well over the last couple of weeks, but it is Butch's turn to start. Obviously Butch is experienced and has played a lot at Newlands and enjoys that stadium, so it's good to have him back."
Despite being named as man of the match in the victory over the Blue Bulls at Kings Park last week, Charl McLeod will again play off the bench.
"Charl has been on top of his game throughout the Currie Cup season, but we have two very good scrumhalves and we need to develop both of them and keep them both fit," Everitt said.
Whitehead comes in for the impressive Heimar williams after recovering from a lengthy absence due to injury.
"Tim has had an unfortunate run with injuries but Heimar Williams has filled in well over the last couple of weeks. So it will now be another opportunity for Tim and we know what he's capable of," said Everitt.
Forwards coach Brad McLeod-Henderson said that they are expecting a tough test from the defending champions on their home turf.
"Western Province is a quality side and are the only unbeaten team in the Currie Cup. The fact that they haven't lost yet, just shows how good they are, they have fantastic defence so it will be really tough on Saturday," he said.
Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Sizo Maseko, 13 Louis Ludik, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Butch James, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Jacques Botes (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Peet Marais, 3 Rayno Gerber, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Danie Mienie.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Edwin Hewitt, 19 Justin Downey, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Fred Zeilinga, 22 Jaco van Tonder.
Date: Saturday, September 7
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Marc van Zyl
TMO: Deon van Blommestein