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Sharks change three for clash with Chiefs

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Sharks Super rugby head coach Robert du Preez has named a team with three changes for Saturday’s match against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

Du Preez has made three changes to the starting line-up, making rotational changes to give rest to players who have endured a heavy workload.


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Upfront, Hyron Andrews returns to the starting XV in place of Ruben van Heerden while Philip van der Walt moves to eighthman for Daniel du Preez with Jacques Vermeulen coming in at flank.

There is just one change to the backline, Marius Louw replacing Andre Esterhuizen while Fezokuhle Mbatha, Tyler Paul, Luke Stringer and Kobus van Wyk all come onto the bench.

Curwin Bosch has been in outstanding form at flyhalf and du Preez said from New Zealand that, “He’s played really well and done well for us, he’s a very good all-round player.”

Having beaten the Waratahs and drawn with the Crusaders the Sharks have the opportunity to finish the tour going unbeaten – if they can get past the Chiefs.  u Preez puts the Sharks positive results down to “great team spirit.”

In summing up the previous two weeks, du Preez said: “Defence shows the character in the team and the team spirit that exists. They’ve been immense and I’ve said that from the word go. From the beginning of the year I said we have a great plan both from an attacking point of view and on defence. On Friday the boys showed how they care for each other; that’s the bottom line.”

The coach said that six points in the bag after two games on tour, against quality opposition, is a huge return.

“I would have taken that, absolutely,” said du Preez. “We know how tough it is to tour and how tough this competition is, so to beat the Waratahs for the first time in 19 years in Sydney [the last time was in 2000], that’s a great feat as was the draw against the Crusaders, very nearly a win.

“We’re very pleased with where we are.

Sharks

15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder (c), 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Thomas du Toit

Replacements:16 Fezokuhle Mbatha, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Luke Stringer, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Robert du Preez, 23 Kobus van Wyk

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