JP Pietersen will make his Sharks return at outside centre in their Currie Cup opener against Griquas in Durban on Friday.
It will be Pietersen’s first start for the Sharks since 2016 after returning to Durban when his contract with French side Toulon was not extended.
Ten players in the starting lineup were selected in the Vodacom Super Rugby quarter-final match against the Brumbies, allowing for continuity.
Both co-captains Jeremy Ward and Tera Mtembu start, while Curwin Bosch will form the halfback partnership with Cameron Wright following Robert du Preez’s departure to the Sale Sharks.
Aphelele Fassi is in the back three with experienced campaigners Lwazi Mvovo and Kobus van Wyk.
There are potential Currie Cup debuts for Junior Springbok captain Phendulani Buthelezi and scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba, who are on the bench.
Sharks – 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Jeremy Ward (c-c), 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Tera Mtembu (c-c), 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Luke Stringer, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Subs: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Phendulani Buthelezi, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Rhyno Smith.
Photo: Steve Haag