April back in the driver’s seat

With Patrick Lambie injured, Garth April will start at ten for the Sharks when they take on the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday. 

The Durban franchise lost some star players during the international break to injury. Willie le Roux is out with a shoulder injury as well as being suspended for one week. Lambie was concussed during a collision with CJ Stander during the first Test against Ireland in the Springboks' three game series. 

Sharks coach Gary Gold believes his side can adjust to perform without their captain.

"Obviously it is a blow because they’re world class players but we’ve spent most of this season without Pat," Gold said.

"It’s an adaption that I think we’ll probably be able to deal with, but it’s something we would much prefer not to have to go through."

Gold believes April has the mettle to emulate Lambie's talismanic presence.

"It’s an exciting opportunity for the likes of a Garth to step up into Patrick’s place, which he did in New Zealand," Gold said.

"It’s a big stage for a young guy to be cutting his teeth but it’s something we’re excited about."