Former Springbok scrumhalf Michael Claassens will start his first game for the Sharks in this Saturday’s Currie Cup encounter against the Lions.
Claassens has played off the bench in the first two games of the domestic season, having joined the Sharks from Toulon during the pre-season, but he will take over from Stefan Ungerer at No 9 for this third round match in Durban.
The Sharks will also field a new-look midfield, with André Esterhuizen returning to a more familiar role at inside centre, while talented Paul Jordaan will start at 13.
Jordaan hasn’t started for the Sharks since suffering a ghastly hip injury in last year’s Currie Cup, but he made an immediate impact when he scored a superb try as a replacement in last weekend’s win over the EP Kings.
Other changes to the Sharks team from that match sees S’bura Sithole return from injury to start on the left wing, while in the pack, Francois Kleinhans takes over from injured Jean Deysel at openside flanker.
A final change in the front row sees fit-again Dale Chadwick replacing Juan Schoeman at loosehead prop.
Sharks – 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 S'bura Sithole, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Daniel du Preez, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Marco Wentzel (c), 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Monde Hadebe, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Subs: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Gerhard Engelbrecht, 18 David McDuling, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Stefan Ungerer, 21 Wandile Mjekevu, 22 SP Marais.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images