Neil Powell has included four returning Springboks in the starting XV, with several positional surprises, for his first match in charge of the Sharks in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship against Ospreys on Friday.
Powell, who has been installed as the head coach for the rest of the season following Sean Everitt’s sacking, has named loosehead prop Ox Nche and hooker Bongi Mbonambi in the front row, while scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse forms an exciting halfback pairing with Curwin Bosch, himself back after a lengthy injury layoff.
Bok flyer Makazole Mapimpi also returns to the run-on lineup in the clash at Kings Park and has been named on the wing.
In other changes, Vincent Tshituka moves from flank to lock with Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Jeandre Labuschagne and Phepsi Buthelezi packing down in a formidable back row. Buthelezi will captain the team in the absence of the suspended Thomas du Toit.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) December 1, 2022
Ben Tapuai is back in the starting lineup and the Australian international will partner Bok centre Francois Venter in the midfield, with regular flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain slotting in at fullback.
Bok and South Africa A tourists Ntuthuko Mchunu and Grant Williams have been included on a powerful bench alongside one-Test-capped midfielder Rohan Janse van Rensburg.
Ospreys come into this match under pressure, having won just once in their eight URC matches to date, while the Sharks are desperate to bounce back in the wake of the humiliating 35-0 loss to Cardiff on Sunday.
? TEAM RELEASE ?
Our starting XV team to take on Ospreys tomorrow night ?
— The Sharks (@SharksRugby) December 1, 2022