Phepsi Buthelezi and the Sharks are wary of the threat posed by a second-string Leinster outfit that boasts a host of international players.
Table-topping Leinster, 10 points clear of second-placed Ulster in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, have travelled to South Africa without many of their big-name stars.
Ireland wing James Lowe, British & Irish Lions tighthead Tadhg Furlong and back-row enforcer Jack Conan, veteran lock Devin Toner, flyhalf Jonathan Sexton and centre Robbie Henshaw have remained in Ireland.
Buthelezi says the Sharks will not be taking anything for granted when they run out to face the Irish giants at Kings Park on Saturday.
“We know that it’s still going to be a very good Leinster side,” the Sharks loose forward said. “Even though they are not bringing some of their big names, they will still have about 10 internationals in the side.
“So, they are still bringing down a very good side. Nothing changes on our side in terms of preparation. We are really preparing well for this game because we know how tough it’s going to be.
“Leinster are a quality side, with or without their internationals.”
Buthelezi and the Sharks are targeting the match as an opportunity to provide some relief for the people of KwaZulu-Natal as the province continues to count the cost of the recent floods.
The devastating floods have wreaked havoc in and around Durban, leading to a death toll in excess of 400, with roads and hillsides washed away while several homes have been destroyed.
In the midst of the tragedy, the Sharks have stepped up to help the surrounding communities, calling on fans to donate funds, non-perishable foods and old books. The likes of Gerbrant Grobler, Cameron Wright, Jeremy Ward and Boeta Chamberlain have also been actively helping clean up the devastation left by the floods.
“As a province, we have been through a lot the last week or so. As a squad, we have spoken about this and the wonderful opportunity presented to us to make people happy by expressing ourselves on the field,” said Buthelezi.
“We are going to have a lot of people here — the Sharks are putting on a family fun day with plenty of entertainment pre and post the match — it is going to be an awesome day to be a Sharks rugby supporter and what has happened [the flooding] is extra motivation for us to make our people happy by playing some amazing rugby against a top team.”
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