Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold has named his best possible side to face Toulon at the Stade Mayol on Thursday.
The team will be captained by Bismarck du Plessis and includes other current Boks in Lwazi Mvovo, Pat Lambie, Cobus Reinach, Marcell Coetzee and Tendai Mtawarira.
Pieter-Steph du Toit will make his long-awaited return from injury in the No 5 jersey, with former England lock Mouritz Botha making his Sharks debut.
Of the Sharks' first-choice team, only Frans Steyn (still in Japan), Willem Alberts, Jannie du Plessis (both working back towards full fitness) and Thomas du Toit (injured) are missing.
'This match is going to be the first really competitive game of the season,' said Gold, 'and we’re up against a team that has qualified for the European Champions Cup quarter-finals already. Yes, they will be more prepared than us and more game ready than us, that’s the challenge we face. But the reason why we wanted to be here is to put ourselves under this kind of pressure.'
The match will be broadcast on SuperSport 1 from 9:50pm.
Sharks – 15 SP Marais, 14 S’bura Sithole, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Monde Hadebe, 20 Marco Wentzel, 21 Etienne Oosthuizen, 22 André Esterhuizen, 23 Paul Perez, 24 Odwa Ndungane, 25 Conrad Hoffmann, 26 Fred Zeilinga.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images