Sikumbuzo Notshe, James Venter and Ox Nche will make their Sharks Vodacom Super Rugby debuts when they host the Vodacom Bulls in Durban on Friday.
The team closely resembles the starting lineup that took on the Stormers in the recent SuperHero Sunday pre-season match.
Nche, Venter and Notshe, who all moved to Durban late last year, will be making their run-on debuts, while other new recruits Le Roux Roets and Henco Venter together with homegrown talents Sanele Nohamba (scrumhalf) and Boeta Chamberlain (flyhalf) will play off the bench.
‘There’s a strong vibe in the camp and we’re all looking forward to Super Rugby kicking off,’ vice-captain Curwin Bosch said.
‘For me to grow in confidence at 10, I need game time there; that’s how a player gets better and I’m really looking forward to it.’
Bosch admits he is wary of the threat posed by the Bulls veteran Morne Steyn, who is likely to be his direct opponent on Friday.
‘Morne brings a lot of experience to his side, they’ve lost quite a few players overseas and because he’s such a good kicker, we know our discipline and game management need to be really sharp this weekend.
‘But we’re going into this weekend’s game with a plan and if we stick to it, the result will take care of itself.’
Sharks – 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (c), 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Sikumbuzo Notshe, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Boeta Chamberlain, 23 Jeremy Ward.
Photo: Steve Haag Sports/Hollywoodbets