Bok-laden Sharks to front Bordeaux-Begles

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Siya Kolisi
Siya Kolisi
Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Sharks director of rugby Neil Powell has rolled out the heavy artillery for their Champions Cup clash against Bordeaux-Begles in Durban on Saturday.

The Sharks' top Springboks are back after they were rested for the URC trip to Irish side Connacht last weekend.

There are minimal changes from the Bok-laden side that defeated the Bulls 47-20 at Kings Park on December 31, with Vincent Tshituka coming in for Henco Venter on the flank in the only change to the pack.

In the backline, Jaden Hendrikse replaces Grant Williams at scrumhalf and Wallaby international Ben Tapuai returns at inside centre for Rohan Janse van Rensburg, who will feature off the bench.

Sharks team:

15 Boeta Chamberlain, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16. Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg

"We're putting a big emphasis on the Champions Cup, but in the same breath, we're also under a bit of pressure in the URC with the resting period coming up for some of the Boks. We really need to perform in the URC too and there is equal emphasis on performing in both competitions," Sharks prop Thomas du Toit admitted in the build-up to the match.

"But we aren't looking too far ahead, the biggest and most important match is the next one and we’re treating it like that. Winning at home is important and winning this match at home is going to be vitally important in this competition and we firmly believe if we get points this weekend and more points next weekend (against Harlequins) then we will be sitting pretty in the competition.

"We will look to play for the full 80 minutes, it's something we strive towards and something we got close to against the Bulls when we started and ended well. It's something we've spoken about, tried to improve and it’s a big target for most teams: to get that perfect 80 minute performance."

Saturday's clash at Kings Park kicks off at 17:15.

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