Gerhard van den Heever and Shane Gates have been named in the Sunwolves starting lineup to face the Sharks in Singapore on Saturday.
The Sunwolves are without a bulk of their Japanese internationals, including Michael Leitch, Keita Inagaki, Shota Horie, Fumiaki Tanaka and Kazuki Himeno, while coach Tony Brown is also away on duty with the Brave Blossoms. Assistant Scott Hansen will take charge of the side in his absence until mid-March.
Van den Heever lines up at fullback in a back three that includes a Sunwolves debut for former wing All Black Rene Ranger.
Gates will make his first appearance for the Japanese franchise in a centre partnership with New Zealand-born Scotland international Phil Burleigh.
Sunwolves – 15 Gerhard van den Heever, 14 Semisi Masirewa, 13 Shane Gates, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Rahboni Warren Vosayaco, 7 Ed Quirk, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 James Moore, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Asaeli Valu, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Craig Millar.
Subs: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Hiroshi Yamashita, 19 Awe Helu, 20 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Michael Little.
Photo: Getty Images