Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White has made three changes to the backline that beat the Cheetahs for this weekend’s match in Durban against the Highlanders.
Injuries have forced White into making changes – some positional – for the Sharks final match at home before they go on tour to Australia and New Zealand.
The match will be a special occasion for Keegan Daniel who will be making his 100th Super Rugby appearance for the Sharks.
Tonderai Chavhanga has been ruled out with a hamstring injury and Odwa Ndungane’s shoulder injury keeps him out for another week.
S’bura Sithole moves to wing and Paul Jordaan makes a return to his position at outside centre.
The good news is that JP Pietersen has recovered after missing out last week after pulling up in training and he will play on the other wing.
The rest of the side remains unchanged, with Tim Swiel getting another chance after making his first start last week in the victory over the Cheetahs.
The Highlanders arrive in Durban fresh off a bye and time will tell whether they benefit from the break or find that it disrupts them.
“There are two ways of looking at it: one, you’re rusty because you didn’t play the week before, or two, you’ve had two weeks to prepare yourself and freshen up mentally,” said White on the Sharks site.
“I don’t think you can ever work out in theory if you have a rest you’re better, or you lose your momentum. The challenge for us is to focus on getting a result. We go away the next day, it’s our last home game for a long while and we have to keep the momentum going.”
The Highlanders finished last year second from bottom on the log with just three wins to their name. In 2014, they have one extra win and they still have nine games to play. They’re currently in eighth spot on the log and well-placed to contest for a top six finish.
“There is no doubt that this year they are way better than they were last year,” White said.
“You can’t read anything into what happened last year. They’re a good side, they have some good players, Ben Smith and Aaron Smith are probably the two form players in New Zealand, and have been for the last couple of seasons, not just this year. Everything starts and revolves around those two guys.”
15. Lwazi Mvovo , 14. JP Pietersen , 13. Paul Jordaan , 12. Frans Steyn , 11. S’bura Sithole , 10. Tim Swiel , 9. Charl McLeod , 8. Keegan Daniel , 7. Jean Deysel , 6. Marcell Coetzee , 5. Stephan Lewies , 4. Willem Alberts , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Bismarck du Plessis (C) , 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements : 16. Kyle Cooper , 17. Dale Chadwick , 18. Lourens Adriaanse , 19. Etienne Oosthuizen , 20. Ryan Kankowski , 21. Stefan Ungerer , 22. Heimar Williams , 23. SP Marais