Sean Everitt has selected Grant Williams and Ben Tapaui to start with Jaden Hendrikse and Jeremy Ward dropping to the bench. Ntuthuko Mchunu replaces the injured Ox Nche with Khwezi Mona moving onto the bench. Curwin Bosch keeps the flyhalf jersey with Boeta Chamberlain back on the bench.
The Sharks Currie Cup team will play the Bulls in Pretoria on Wednesday night. Tito Bonilla will partner with Cam Wright – so unless Boeta Chamberlain is out injured he may feature for the Sharks URC squad against Zebre this coming weekend.
The bad news over the last week or so is that Lukhanyo Am will be off chasing Yen in Japan with immediate effect. Fortunately he should be back in about two months time. Siya Kolisi has been named captain in his absence.
The Sharks play the Pumas away on Friday night. Etienne Fynn has promoted Dian Bleurer and Wiehan Herbst to the starting 15. Yaw Penxe moves to 14 with Inny Radebe coming in at fullback.
The Sharks will play Benetton in Treviso on Saturday. Benetton has lost a number of players to the Italian national team, but the Sharks will do well to remember the humiliation Benetton dished out to the Bulls last year.
The Sharks Currie Cup team will take on the Golden Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday. The Lions will be desperate for a win after the big loss to the Pumas in January, and has included a number of URC players including both Tshituka brothers and JP Smith at loose head.
For the Sharks Yaw Penxe will feature at full back with Bradley Davids possibly making a Currie Cup debut.
Eben Etzebeth has signed a contract with the Sharks until 2017.
He will join the team in July. With Bok commitments he will probably only play in a Sharks jersey in 2023 / or December 2022.
In other news Grant Williams will be suspended for 4 games and will only be eligible to play from the 13th March.
The Sharks have appointed Neil Powell (previously announced as defense coach) as Director of Rugby from September 2022. Sean Everitt and Etienne Fynn will effectively then report to Neil.
The Sharks have great players and can play some marvelous rugby at times. Unfortunately there have also been something lacking in Sharks culture over the years – where talented teams can often put up some pretty indifferent error-ridden performances.
Hopefully Neil can bring his experience from the Bok Sevens setup and find what is missing in the Sharks setup and start by improving it.
Gerbrandt Grobler and Henco Venter start in the pack while Sikhumbuzo Notshe will make a welcome return later in the game. Marius Louw comes in at inside centre while Lukhanyo Am puts the 13 jersey back on. Curwin Bosch replaces Boeta Chaimberlain on the bench.
The Sharks will need to improve all over the park after an indifferent performance against the Stormers. Neil Powell (future defense coach for the Sharks after the current Sevens season) visited the Sharks this week – hopefully he can provide some tips on how to improve the back line defense after the Stormers regularly found gaps to exploit.
Ben Tapuai picking up an injury during training required a midfield reshuffle with Lukhanyo Am moving to 12 and Jeremy Ward coming in at 13. Grant Williams and Boeta Chaimberlain move to the bench with Jaden Hendrikse and Tito Bonilla starting this week. Werner Kok moves onto the bench.
Cape Town is usually a good hunting ground for the Sharks – so hopefully the Sharks can play to their potential and put the Stormers away. The Sharks will have to improve their exits and cut down the penalty count.