Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White has named his team to play in the Bulls in their Super Rugby opening match at Kings Park on Saturday which includes 11 Springboks in the starting line up.
White has named a strong team that not only features 11 Springboks in the starting line up but also a further three Boks on the replacements bench.
White has largely stuck with the tried and tested players that did duty in the same competition or Currie Cup last year.
The only new face in the mix is Springbok prop Lourens Adriaanse, who is on the bench, after his move from Griquas in the off-season, while rookie Stephan Lewies is also among the replacements.
Kankowski is picked despite only recently returning from Japan where he was playing club rugby.
Bismarck du Plessis will captain the side for the first time in a competitive game, while his predecessor Keegan Daniel was not considered due to injury.
White was expecting much of the same from the Bulls despite their lack of experience in comparison to previous years.
"You know what the Bulls are going to do in terms of their style of play," White said.
"They have been doing it for years. They are going to kick from the base of the scrum, they are going to kick from base of the lineout.
"They will maul the lineouts. They are going to try and physically dominate you in first 25 minutes to see if they can get some ascendancy."
The former Springboks coach said that the team wants to make a strong start to the season and adds that the home crowd could give them a massive advantage over the former Champion Bulls.
"The first couple of games here, there's a buzz in Durban, people want to come and watch games here, maybe to have the home games early on and get the whole crowd behind us is going to be a bonus," said White on the Sharks site.
"Had we gone away at the start and lost that opportunity for our home fans to come and watch this new team, perhaps they wouldn't have had the same reward. For us, with the new set up, maybe playing the first few games at home and having the fans behind us could be a massive advantage."
Sharks and Springbok winger Odwa Ndungane says that they know what to expect from the Bulls.
"We know what to expect," he says, "they always bring physicality and the back three can expect a lot of high balls to field."
"We have to be able to deal with their strengths, we've had a good week of preparation and so hopefully it all comes together on Saturday. On paper, we have one of the strongest teams, but we cannot just relax and expect to arrive and win the games. We have to work really hard and front up on game-day."
15. SP Marais , 14. Odwa Ndungane , 13. Paul Jordaan , 12. Frans Steyn , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 10. Patrick Lambie , 9. Cobus Reinach , 8. Ryan Kankowski , 7. Willem Alberts , 6. Marcell Coetzee , 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit , 4. Anton Bresler , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Bismarck du Plessis (Captain) , 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements , 16. Kyle Cooper , 17. Dale Chadwick , 18. Lourens Adriaanse , 19. Stephan Lewies , 20. Jean Deysel , 21. Charl McLeod , 22. Heimar Williams , 23. S’bura Sithole