Sharks rest top Boks for URC clash against Stormers

Sharks rest top Boks for URC clash against Stormers

The Sharks have once again opted against fielding a full-strength team for Saturday's United Rugby Championship clash against the Stormers at Kings Park.

With Springbok resting protocols an increasingly necessary evil for all of the South African sides involved in the URC and European competitions, Sharks boss Neil Powell has once again opted to rest most of his frontline Boks for Saturday's clash, which is the only URC match taking place this week after being postponed due to an earlier scheduling conflict.

The likes of Siya Kolisa, Bongi Mbonambi, Makazole Mapimpi, Lukhanyo Am, Ox Nche, Thomas du Toit and Eben Etzebeth are all absent from the side.

In the front row, Ntuthuko Mchunu replaces Ox Nche and Carlü Sadie comes in for Du Toit, with the rest of the pack that served the team well last week remaining in place.

Cameron Wright gets a start at scrumhalf for the injured Grant Williams while Rohan Janse van Rensburg is back in the side, playing at centre with Ben Tapuai shifting to outside centre in place of Francois Venter.

Sharks fullback Aphelele Fassi and Man of the Match in last week's defeat of Edinburgh said that his team is in a good space ahead of this big home match.

"We've taken a lot of energy out of that game," he said. "There was massive character shown by the boys and we're very proud of that. I could see on the training pitch this week that there's a lot of belief and energy in the group. From a defensive point of view, that win was a positive from us and it's something we want to continue to grow."

Of the Stormers, he acknowledged the huge challenge that lies ahead against the defending champs.

"Coastal derbies are always special, we know the style of play they want to play, we know the threats they bring in terms of the breakdown, the set-piece and going forward in terms of our plan is to just match that and take the opportunities we've identified. And being clinical in converting those into points."

Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Phendulani Buthelezi (captain), 7 Henco Venter, 6 James Venter, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.

Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 7 Dian Bleuler, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Bradley Davids, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Yaw Penxe.