Etzebeth returns as Sharks name strong side to face Edinburgh in Challenge Cup

Etzebeth returns as Sharks name strong side to face Edinburgh in Challenge Cup

The Sharks will welcome back Eben Etzebeth for Saturday's Challenge Cup quarter-final against Edinburgh at Hollywoodbets Kings Park.

Continuity is the name of the game for this side riding a wave of confidence after a run of three straight victories. They've all come at home, which is where the two teams meet for this knock-out clash, a repeat of a few weeks ago when the Sharks downed the visiting Scottish side in the United Rugby Championship. 

This weekend's clash provides another golden opportunity for the Sharks to show they have turned the corner after a run of poor results.

Head coach John Plumtree has an almost full squad to choose from but hasn't veered away from the motto: 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'.

There are just two changes to last week's victorious side over Zebre Parma, with Eben Etzebeth back from injury, replacing Corne Rahl who moves to the bench, where he is joined by replacement hooker Dan Jooste, in for Kerron van Vuuren.

Hooker Bongi Mbonambi, analysing Edinburgh and the team they will put out for this match, expects a top, challenging encounter from the Scots.

"It's a quarter-final, they will bring their best team, hoping to advance to the semi-finals," he admits."We're preparing for their best team."

From his own team's point of view, he explains that they are in a good place right now and motivated to be successful this weekend and beyond.

"The mood in the camp is good, there's a lot of energy and the injured guys coming back, like Emile van Heerden, Eben Etzebeth and Vincent Koch, make a big difference to the forward pack.

"The road to the final won't be easy, but for now our focus is on the quarter-final and getting over that and that's how we move forward in this competition, how we get better."

Hollywoodbets Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Lukhanyo Am (c), 12 Ethan Hooker, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Siya Masuku, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 James Venter, 5 Emile van Heerden, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche.

Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Corne Rahl, 20 Jeandre Labuschagne, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Curwin Bosch, 23 Francois Venter.

READ MORE: John Plumtree talks of a new dawn rising at the Sharks