The Sharks will be without injured captain Lukhanyo Am for their clash with the Cheetahs in Durban on Friday.
Am has picked up a hand injury, which is expected to rule him out of action for approximately four weeks.
In the Springbok centre’s absence, Henco Venter will take the captain’s armband in a team with only a couple of injury-enforced changes, as coach Sean Everitt looks for continuity.
The good news is that Sikhumbuzo Notshe has been cleared fit after sustaining a hamstring strain against the Vodacom Bulls. Notshe has been named on a bench which features a six-two split between forwards and backs, as Everitt anticipates a highly contested physical forward battle against the Cheetahs.
Am’s place in midfield is taken by Jeremy Ward in the first of two changes to the backline.
Meanwhile, Yaw Penxe will make his first start for the Sharks after coming off the bench against the Pumas and Bulls. Penxe replaces another Springbok in Sbu Nkosi, who has picked up a slight niggle and has not been considered for selection.
In the only other change to the match-day squad Werner Kok returns after being rested against the Pumas, taking Penxe’s place among the substitutes.
Sharks – 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Phendulani Buthelezi, 7 Henco Venter (c), 6 Dylan Richardson 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 John Hubert-Meyer, 2 Dan Jooste, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Grant Williams, 23 Werner Kok.
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