Injuries are frustrating the Sharks ahead of their all-important Rainbow Cup clash against the Bulls this Saturday as the Durbanites on Thursday named 15 players for the outing but not any reserves.
The two sides are set to meet in the clash at Kings Parks Stadium in Durban at 6.15 pm.
The match will decide the South African winner of the competition and the team that will feature in the North-versus-South final against Benetton in Italy on June 19.
Sharks coach Sean Everitt named only the starting 15 players and said the bench was going to be announced on Friday after getting confirmation from the medical team on who is available and who is out.
There’s a number of changes to the team as stars such as Lukhanyo Am, Siya Kolisi and highly-rated flyhalf Curwin Bosch are all back in the team.
Recently re-signed Khutha Mchunu is starting at tighthead while Khwezi Mona is at loosehead prop.
“There’s a couple of guys that have niggles, we are trying to push them through the week,” said Everitt.
“And that is Ntuthuko Mchunu who got injured last week against the Lions, as well as Wiehahn Herbst who pulled out of the game before kick-off last week with a back spasm.
“Marius Louw got an ankle injury on Tuesday as well as Manie Libbok on Saturday against the Lions last weekend. Makazole Mapimpi has stiffened up on his calf, but he should be good to go.”
Mapimpi and Louw are both in the starting team. The coach said none of the injured players have been definitely ruled out at this stage.
Sprinboks props Ox Nche and Thomas “Tank” du Toit have been rested, but Everitt said he might still call them back for Saturday if he is forced to.
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Anthony Volmink, 13 Lukhanyo Am (capt), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Khwezi Mona
Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marcell Coetzee (capt), 7 Ruan Nortje, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Janko Swanepoel, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Substitutes: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Muller Uys, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Clinton Swart, 23 Gio Aplon.