Sharks name side to face Bulls

The Sharks have named their side to face the Bulls at Loftus on Friday in their Round Four Super Rugby clash.

Young back-row Jean-Luc du Preez has not been considered after suffering a minor foot injury against the Stormers, and Director of Rugby Gary Gold has elevated Philip van der Walt to the starting line-up. Du Preez is expected to be available for selection next week.

In other changes, front rowers Lourens Adriaanse and Kyle Cooper get their first starts of the season, as does scrum-half Michael Claassens, while Lwazi Mvovo comes back into the side.

There is a welcome return for loose forward Keegan Daniel, and ultimately, Gold has shown faith in his entire squad.

“We have a huge amount of confidence in the guys that have come off the bench and they have made a significant difference to our games at critical stages,” said Gold.

There were a few sore bodies after the Stormers match and, it made sense for us to make a few changes. These changes are not disruptive, but it does mean that other guys who have put their hands up have an opportunity to start this week, rather than come off the bench.

“Jean-Luc has a minor foot injury, which creates an opportunity for Keegan Daniel to be included on the bench, having recently returned to Durban.”

Sharks: 15 Willie Le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Tendai Mtawarira (c)
Replacements:16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Garth April, 23 Odwa Ndungane

Date: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Venue: Friday, March 18
Kick-off: 19:00 local (17:00 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Referees:Stuart Berry, Rasta Rasivhenge
TMO: Willie Vos