Sharks change one for semi

Kyle Cooper has recovered from injury and will start the Sharks' semi-final against the Golden Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The hooker missed last weekend's victory over Western Province in Cape Town with an ankle injury, but has recovered to take his place in the starting XV, with Monde Hadebe shifting to the bench.

Lionel Cronjé has retained the No 10 jersey ahead of Fred Zeilinga, who kicked 21 points as the Sharks defeated the Lions in the league phase just two weekends back.

'We played some nice rugby when we beat them in Durban, but that counts for nothing now,' said coach Brad Macleod-Henderson. 'It’s a new game, a new challenge, a new week and we are preparing accordingly. It’s going to be a huge task going up to Ellis Park, but a challenge we’re looking forward to. We will have to play for the full 80 minutes, defensively we need to be strong and our set piece needs to function well.'

The match in Johannesburg will be the Sharks' ninth consecutive semi-final, and their first away from Kings Park since 2006.

Sharks – 15 SP Marais, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 S’bura Sithole, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Lionel Cronjé, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu (c), 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Subs: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 JC Astle, 20 Khaya Majola, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga.

Photo: Gerhard Steenkamp/BackpagePix