Sharks Forced To Make A Number Of Changes

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Thomas du Toit is back in the Cell C Sharks' starting team for their Carling Currie Cup opener against the Phakisa Pumas in Durban on Friday night @ 19h00.

Jeremy Ward will lead the Durbanites against Phakisa Pumas, while the inclusion of Du Toit - an RWC winner with the Springboks last year who has been out of action due to injury since late last month - is one of a number of changes to their pack.

Sean Everitt (head coach) has been forced into making a number of changes - predominantly in the pack - for this match, although there is a settled look about a Cell C Sharks side that has been able to rotate and add squad depth over the course of the last seven weeks, which saw them move into the third spot on the log.

Former Junior Bok JJ van der Mescht moves from lock to the side of the scrum for this encounter, while Thembelani Bholi moves to No 8.

“JJ van der Mescht adds bulk to our pack and we believe that he has the necessary skill set to excel in that position,” said Everitt.

“It is an experiment to see how he goes in the absence of players like Henco Venter and Phepsi Buthelezi.

“He partners Thembelani Bholi at No 8, while Dylan Richardson continues in the open side role where he has played very well over the last few weeks and deserves to retain his place on the side of the scrum.”

Manie Libbok will start at fullback this weekend.

There is only one change in the backline where Manie Libbok comes in for Anthony Volmink at fullback.

“Anthony has suffered an AC injury which will keep him out of action for a period of time,” the coach confirmed.

“There are a number of changes on the bench - Khwezi Mona comes in on a rotational basis and we have given SA Under 20 tighthead prop Hanro Jacobs his first opportunity for the Cell C Sharks due to the unavailability of a few tightheads.

“Sikhumbuzo Notshe returns after isolation protocols while SA Sevens player Zain Davids, who has been with us for some time, gets an opportunity off the bench. He’s shown a lot of promise at training.

“Finally, Sbu Nkosi fulfils a role off the bench after being forced to miss training while awaiting results of a routine COVID test.”

Cell C Sharks: 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Jeremy Ward (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Thembelani Bholi, 7 JJ van der Mescht, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche. Replacements: 16 Daniel Jooste, 17 Khwezi Mona, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Zain Davids, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Werner Kok, 23 Sbu Nkosi.