Wentzel in for Du Toit

The Sharks have made only one injury-enforced change for their crucial clash with the Chiefs in Durban on Saturday.

As expected, Marco Wentzel replaces the stricken Pieter-Steph du Toit, while Lubabalo Mtyanda moves back onto the replacement bench.

Frans Steyn and JP Pietersen will continue with their burgeoning partnership in midfield, while Springboks Marcell Coetzee, Pat Lambie and Cobus Reinach will all feature in their sixth consecutive match, despite Saru's guidelines regarding player management.

‘At the Sharks we are 100% behind the Springboks and the resting of players,' explained director of rugby Gary Gold. 'I think it’s the right thing to do and we need to do it.

'But we have a slightly different challenge compared to other franchises, as we have the most Springboks and our first bye is in week 11. Other South African teams get that bye within the first five weeks of the competition.

'We are committed to resting the players, but it has become a juggling act this week because we haven’t been given a bye. As of last week, we were the only franchise to rest any Springboks early on’.

Gold also acknowledged the challenge facing his team on Saturday.

'The Chiefs are a championship outfit with outstanding strength and depth and they will go into this match as favourites,' he said. 'They have a strong pack of forwards and one of the most exciting backlines in the competition and are well coached.

'We look forward to the challenge of measuring ourselves against one of the most dangerous sides. It's going to be an exciting matchup.'

The Sharks bounced back from successive defeats with victory against the Cheetahs, and will be looking to pick up their first win over the visitors in Durban since 2008.

Sharks – 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Daniel du Preez, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 André Esterhuizen, 23 Waylon Murray.

Super Rugby teams (Round 6)

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images