The only returning Springbok in the Sharks' starting line-up against the Griquas on Friday will be Pat Lambie who has been named at flyhalf.
Lambie has had very little game-time since Super Rugby, having been used sparingly as a replacement by Bok coach Heyneke Meyer in the Rugby Championship, so he will relish the opportunity to start in the crucial playmaker role.
With a spot in the semifinal already assured Sharks coach John Plumtree has chosen to load his bench with Springboks, and has given some such as Tendai Mtawarira and Willem Alberts a deserved break.
Rotation at scrumhalf sees Cobus Reinach replace Charl McLeod, and the exciting youngster will link up with Lambie who is at flyhalf in place of Meyer Bosman who will play off the bench.
Amongst the forwards, the only change is enforced with Pieter Dixon out with a broken arm and Kyle Cooper starting where he ended off last week with Craig Burden providing back-up off the bench.
Tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis adds further depth for the front row while Marcell Coetzee and Lwazi Mvovo are two more returning Boks to be included.
With the Sharks in the healthy position they find themselves, the potential is exciting. They do, however, face a tough encounter against a fired-up Griquas side and the addition of experienced players to boost the Durban side will no doubt be valuable.
"We've looked at every individual’s different situation, obviously we have some who have played more than others. We've had long conversations with our Boks and we’ve got to make sure we do what's best for the team, so we have chosen our side accordingly," he said.
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Jandre Marais, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18 Peet Marais, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Lwazi Mvovo.
Date: Friday, October 12
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Ben Crouse, Reuben Rossouw
TMO: Shaun Veldsman
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