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Sharks bring Beast back to face Highlanders

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Durban’s Sharks have named their team to play the Highlanders at Kings park on Saturday with Beast Mtawarira returning to the starting side.

The big man’s experience cannot be denied over a period spanning more than a decade, but it must be said that the player who deputised for him, Juan Schoeman, has been outstanding when called on.

The other change to the front row sees Akker van der Merwe coming in for Chiliboy Ralepelle at hooker, while Stephan Lewies makes way for Tyler Paul in a rotational change at lock.

The rest of the pack, as well as the entire backline, remain unchanged from the side that defeated the Stormers two weeks ago.

The Highlanders’ last gasp victory over the Bulls at Loftus last weekend – in extra time – will have given the Southern-most New Zealand team plenty of confidence going into this fixture.

However, the Sharks will look to punish any overconfidence they might arrive in Durban with.

The visitors will certainly take confidence from their log position – currently fifth on the overall log – showing that they are well on track for a top eight finish and a place in the knock-out rounds.

For the Sharks, a battle royale on the South African Conference means that this game has plenty riding on the outcome, especially if the team can show the kind of determination and fortitude that was on show against the Stormers.

Sharks

15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo

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