Bok wing makes long-awaited Sharks return

Sharks head coach Sean Everitt has named a much-changed starting lineup to face the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday, including the return of a Springbok wing.

Makazole Mapimpi will make his first appearance of 2021 for the Sharks, after returning to the team following a stint in Japan with the Red Hurricanes.

The 2019 World Cup winner starts in a fresh-looking team that also features an all-new front row, with Ntuthuko Mchunu, Kerron van Vuuren and Wiehahn Herbst taking over from Ox Nche, Fez Mbatha and Thomas du Toit, all of whom will make an appearance later in the game off the bench.

In the second row, Hyron Andrews returns to the side in the place of Reniel Hugo while James Venter is a welcome inclusion after a long-term injury.

Phepsi Buthelezi will play at eighthman, with Thembelani Bholi named on the bench and Henco Venter taking over the captaincy from Lukhanyo Am and shifting back to flank.

In backline changes, Manie Libbok replaces Curwin Bosch at flyhalf, Yaw Penxe takes over from the injured Sbu Nkosi on the other wing and Werner Kok replaces Lukhanyo Am at centre. In the final change, Anthony Volmink comes in for Aphelele Fassi at fullback.

Sharks – 15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Werner Kok, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Henco Venter (c), 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.
Subs: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Boeta Chamberlain, 23 Jeremy Ward.

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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Dylan Jack