Cape Town - Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold says they will enter their Super Rugby derby against the Lions with a lot of respect for their opponents.
Both teams are eager to get back to winning ways after losses in their previous outings and Gold has emphasised the importance of the fixture.
“This is going to be an incredibly tough fixture, made even tougher by the fact that the Lions are in our pool. The outcome of this game is going to be significant to the status of this pool at a later stage,” Gold said after naming his team on Thursday.
“They are a fantastic team and we have a huge amount of respect for them. We know how good they are with ball in hand and the questions they ask on defence.”
Gold made only one change to the starting XV that went down to the Crusaders at home on March 26.
No 8 Philip van der Walt, who suffered a neck injury against the Crusaders, is not yet ready to resume playing and his place is taken by Daniel du Preez.
Keegan Daniel takes Du Preez’s place on the bench in the final change.
“Our focus is on our own game and after a break last week, our players returned to training in high spirits with renewed energy and focus,” said Gold.
“We want to play with more ball in hand and ask questions of our own. The set-piece battle is going to be important and it will lay the foundation for us to launch our attacks off.
“It is important for us to perform well before we go on tour, which will set the tone for a tough, yet exciting, three week assignment in New Zealand.”
Saturday’s clash at Kings Park is scheduled for 17:05.
15. Willie le Roux, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Joe Pietersen, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Daniel du Preez, 7. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Etienne Oosthuizen, 3. Coenie Oosthuizen, 2. Franco Marais, 1. Tendai Mtawarira (captain)
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Juan Schoeman, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Hyron Andrews, 20. Keegan Daniel, 21. Michael Claassens, 22. Garth April, 23. Odwa Ndungane
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylon Smith
Substitutes: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Jaco van der Walt