The Sharks have named their team to play Western Province at Newlands at Cape Town in the Currie Cup with Springbok scrumhalf Cobus Reinach returning to the starting line up.
Twenty-four-year-old Reinach is among a few non-contracted national players who are eligible for their provinces for the final weeks of the competition. He returns in place of Cameron Wright for the Newlands clash.
Reinach won both his caps for the Boks during the recently concluded Rugby Championship where he played off the bench in wins over Australia and the New Zealand.
His return will significantly boost the defending champions, who are without two of their season regulars, Paul Jordaan and Kyle Cooper, due to injury.
Centre Jordaan was ruled out for six months after undergoing surgery on a fractured hip with his place going to Tonderai Chavhanga, who plays on the wing as S’bura Sithole shifts to midfield.
Monde Hadebe comes in as hooker for Cooper, who is out for a week with an ankle injury. The only other change sees Matt Stevens replace Lourens Adriaanse in the front row.
The match against the table-topping Province could either have plenty of significance or none for the Sharks, depending on what the Golden Lions do in their earlier game against Free State Cheetahs.
A hope semi-final may still be on the cards for the Durbanites, should the Lions lose.
“The nature of this competition is that anyone can beat anyone else,” assistant Sharks coach Paul Anthony said. “
“And that’s why, this weekend we’d like to go and win in Cape Town.”
SP Marais, Tonderai Chavhanga, S’bura Sithole, Andre Esterhuizen, Lwazi Mvovo, Lionel Cronje, Cobus Reinach, Tera Mtembu (captain), Etienne Oosthuizen, Jacques Botes, Marco Wentzel, Stephan Lewies, Matt Stevens, Monde Hadebe, Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: Franco Marais, Dale Chadwick, Lourens Adriaanse, JC Astle, Khaya Majola, Conrad Hoffmann, Fred Zeilinga.