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Barrit straight back into Sharks backline

The Sharks have named Brad Barrit in the starting line up which is one of two enforced changes for their match against the Waratahs.

The Sharks lost Rory Kockott and Francois Steyn and have replaced the due with Charl McLeod and Bradley Barritt.

With the knee injury to Francois Steyn which puts him out of action for the next six weeks (pending individual recovery), former Sharks’ centre Bradley Barritt has returned to his old hunting ground to bolster the team at just the right moment.

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Ruan Pienaar is back to start at flyhalf with further good news over the availability of Adi Jacobs who has also been included following a quicker than anticipated return from injury which sees a brand new centre pairing in Jacobs and Bradley Barritt.

“He’s (Barritt) played a lot of rugby (at Saracens in the UK) so there are no fitness issues,” explained assistant coach Grant Bashford of the 22 year old who has been capped 66 times for the Sharks.

“The great news is Ruan coming back as well,” said Bashford on the Sharks website.

“So he’s available and the timing of Barritt’s return was perfect. Losing Frans, an experienced youngster like him, was terrible, but it was lucky for us to get Brad back, he comes at a crucial time.”

Charl McLeod has been in outstanding form for The Sharks XV and was recently drafted into The Sharks Vodacom Super 14 rugby side, and this Saturday gets handed a starting jersey.

“He’s been a bit unlucky not to have more opportunities,” Bashford pointed out. “With Ruan and Rory sharing the scrumhalf duties in last year’s Absa Currie Cup and when you have a guy like Rory on the bench, it was always going to be tough for the third guy.

“But he’s been working really hard, had a good Vodacom Cup tournament, and now gets an opportunity; he’s really excited about this weekend. Guys dream about these opportunities and testing themselves against the best.”

Describing McLeod, he explained that, “He’s not a traditional distributing scrumhalf, he’s got a nose for space, likes to run around the sides ands looks for opportunities, and that was something we noticed when he was playing a good game for a losing side when we recruited him from the Valke.

“He’s been working hard on his core skills and kicking game and is an exciting prospect. We’re looking forward to see how he goes starting for us.”

The only other change sees Jannie du Plessis link with brother Bismarck in the front row, with John Smit playing off the bench.

Sharks team

15. Stefan Terblanche, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Adrian Jacobs, 12. Brad Barritt, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Ruan Pienaar, 9. Charl McLeod,8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Johann Muller ( C ), 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis,1. Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements:, 16. John Smit, 17. Deon Carstens, 18. Albert van den Berg, 19. Keegan Daniel, 20. Monty Dumond, 21. Riaan Swanepoel,22. Luzuko Vulindlu

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