Cape Town - Sharks coach Robert du Preez has spoken about the difficulties he had in selecting his side for Saturday's Currie Cup semi-final against the Golden Lions in Durban.
The Sharks are favourites going into the clash having played impressive rugby throughout the shortened 2018 tournament so far.
But, with a number of players having recently returned from injury and the Springboks, most Currie Cup coaches have had to think long and hard about selecting their sides for the playoffs.
Du Preez was no different, and he opened up on Thursday about some of the big decisions he had to make, including leaving Jean-Luc du Preez and Coenie Oosthuizen on the bench.
"It's probably one of the most difficult selection meetings we have had, certainly for me in the last few years," Du Preez said.
"We had a lot of debate around that but we just believe that the guys, especially in the loose trio, have done the job for us. We wanted to keep that going.
"Jean-Luc did really well when he came onto the field (against Griquas last weekend) so we're happy to use him off the bench again.
"Coenie was a big debate between him and Tom. We're just in a very fortunate position where we have two superb tightheads."
Another tough selection was at hooker, where Du Preez has benched Chiliboy Ralepelle while Akker van der Merwe gets the start.
"Hooker was another tough one," the coach said.
"You've got two Springbok hookers in your squad and we just believed that Akker, playing against his old province, would be good to start with."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 14:30.
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Juan Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Luke Stringer, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Leolin Zas, 23 Aphelele Fassi
15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Janties, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Pikkie de Villiers, 6 James Venter, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Sti SitholeSubstitutes: 16 Tiaan van der Merwe, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Chergin Fillies, 19 Vincent Tshituka, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Shaun Reynolds, 23 Wandisile Simelani