Beast back for Sharks

Beast Mtawarira will start for the Sharks against the Reds in Brisbane on Friday.

The Bok loosehead prop replaces Dale Chadwick, who drops to the bench, in the only change to the starting XV that lost to the Waratahs in Sydney.

Prop Matt Stevens falls out of the match 23, while lock Mouritz Botha replaces Giant Mtyanda on the bench.

Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold said that while he was pleased with his side's attack, their defence was still a concern (they missed 30 tackles against the Tahs).

'We crossed the tryline five times against the Hurricanes, although two of them weren’t awarded, and we crossed the tryline a few times against the Waratahs and one wasn’t awarded. So we’re creating opportunities and very nearly finishing them. I’m excited about that, I’m excited about our counter-attack and I’m excited about how we look with ball in hand.

'But we’re not fooling ourselves, we realise that we need a vast improvement in our defence. But we have some young guys on the park who are learning a huge amount. Coupled with the fact that we look quite good with ball in hand and I have no doubt we can only improve. I’m reasonably encouraged by the fact that the issues we’re getting wrong are very fixable.'

Sharks – 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 S’bura Sithole, 10 Lionel Cronjé, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Marco Wentzel (c), 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Etienne Oosthuizen, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 André Esterhuizen.

Super Rugby teams (Round 15)

Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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