• Esterhuizen set for Sharks debut

    André Esterhuizen has been included in the Sharks starting lineup in one of seven changes to the side to face the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

    The Junior Springbok has been auspicious in his absence from the Sharks senior squad so far this season, but will get his chance to showcase his abilities against the Cheetahs. He will form yet another midfield combination for the Sharks, with last weekend's duo of Heimar Williams and Paul Jordaan paying for their lacklustre showing against Griquas.

    Tonderai Chavhanga takes over Sithole's place on the wing, while Tim Swiel will get a chance to impress from the start, albeit at fullback. Lionel Cronjé has been handed the No 10 jersey in a bid to spark some life into the Sharks' misfiring backline, with Fred Zeilinga dropping to the bench.

    Up front, Marco Wentzel replaces the injured Wiehan Hay, while Dale Chadwick comes in for Thomas du Toit at loosehead prop.

    The Sharks currently find themselves in fourth spot on the overall log, just two points ahead of the Cheetahs and four ahead of the ever-improving Blue Bulls.

    Sharks – 15 Tim Swiel, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 S'bura Sithole, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Tonderai Chavhanga, 10 Lionel Cronjé, 9 Conrad Hoffmann, 8 Tera Mtembu (c), 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Marco Wentzel, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
    Subs: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Johan Meyer, 19 Khaya Majola, 20 Cameron Wright, 21 Fred Zeilinga, 22 SP Marais.

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    Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images