Durban - The Sharks team to take on the Sunwolves in their Super Rugby clash at Singapore’s National Stadium on Saturday shows a number of changes to last week’s team.
Kick-off is at 13:55 SA time.
Head coach Robert du Preez has had his hand forced with injuries in the backline and had to make significant changes there to accommodate having to leave a number of players behind for medical attention.
In a completely rejigged front row and going with his rotation policy, Du Preez has brought in Thomas du Toit for Beast Mtawarira, Chiliboy Ralepelle and Franco Marais swap jerseys and Lourens Adriaanse replaces Coenie Oosthuizen, who has been rested in line with the Springbok rest protocol.
Stephan Lewies comes in for Etienne Oosthuizen in the second row in the final change to the pack, with the loose forward trio of captain Philip van der Walt and the Du Preez twins, Jean-Luc and Daniel, remaining intact for this match.
Scrumhalf Michael Claassens has picked up a hamstring injury and Rowan Gouws has flown to Singapore to take his place on the bench, while Cobus Reinach will decide matters as the link between forwards and backs.
With an unfortunate injury toll hitting the backline, there are a number of changes made for this week.
Fullback Rhyno Smith (pectoral muscle tear), centre Jeremy Ward (broken nose) and Pat Lambie (concussion symptoms) have all been replaced.
Garth April comes in at No 10, Johan Deysel takes over at inside centre for Ward and Lwazi Mvovo has be moved from wing to fullback to accommodate the loss of Smith.
This opens the door for S’busiso Nkosi to start his second match for the Sharks after making his debut two weeks ago against the Western Force at Kings Park.
This match also marks the starting debut for centre Johan Deysel who has represented the Sharks off the bench previously, but now gains selection into the starting XV.
15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Shota Emi, 13 Ryohei Yamanaka, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa (captain), 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Willem Britz, 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Noahiro Kotaki, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki
Substitutes: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Hitoshi Ono, 20 Rahboni Warren Vosayaco, 21 Keisuka Uchidam 22 Jumpei Ogura, 23 Yasutaka Sasakura
15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 S’busiso Nkosi, 10 Garth April, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt (captain), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit
Substitutes: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Tera Mtembu, 21 Rowan Gouws, 22 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 23 S’bura Sithole