Sharks Super Rugby head coach Robert du Preez has named a strong team to play the Lions in their Super Rugby Quarter-final in Johannesburg.
Du Preez has named an almost unchanged side as there is just one change to the starting line-up with Curwin Bosch being recalled to start at flyhalf with Garth April taking his place on the bench.
On the replacements bench , Franco Marais who has been on the sidelines with concussion is bracketed on the bench with Stephan Coetzee, pending a late call.
“This is finals rugby and whatever has transpired previously is irrelevant in this match. It’s going to come down to our execution, discipline, but most of all it is about who wants it the most,” said Head Coach, Robert du Preez.
“We called for greater intensity this week and our players have heeded that call. There is no greater motivation to perform than when you are playing knock-out rugby and everyone is looking forward to this match. We want to show what our jersey means to us and make our fans proud.”
Alythough the Lions are favourites to win the match Sharks wing Kobus van Wyk says they have always performed against big opposition this season.
“You never know what can happen with the underdog,” he admits.
Although they are the biblical David in this clash with Goliath, there is a measure of self-belief in the team.
“After the defeat, we obviously didn’t feel great, but we returned to training on Monday and the boys are ready, our heads are in the right place,” he explains.
“After losing to them twice, hopefully it will be a case of third time lucky.
“They’re a very good outfit, but if we can put pressure on their playmakers and if our forwards pitch up and win the contests, we are going to be in business.”
15. Lwazi Mvovo,14. Kobus van Wyk,13. Lukhanyo Am,12. Andre Esterhuizen,11. S’busiso Nkosi,10. Curwin Bosch,9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Daniel du Preez,7. Jean-Luc du Preez,6. Philip van der Walt (c),5. Stephan Lewies,4. Etienne Oosthuizen,3. Coenie Oosthuizen,2. Chiliboy Ralepelle,1. Thomas du Toit
Replacements: 16. Franco Marais/Stephan Coetzee,17. Juan Schoeman,18. Lourens Adriaanse,19. Jean Droste,20. Tera Mtembu,21. Michael Claassens,22. Garth April,23. Jeremy Ward