Aphelele Fassi of the Cell C Sharks is tackled by Sergeal Petersen and Dillyn Leyds of DHL Western Province. Picture: ASHLEY VLOTMAN/ GALLO IMAGES
Aphelele Fassi of the Cell C Sharks is tackled by Sergeal Petersen and Dillyn Leyds of DHL Western Province. Picture: ASHLEY VLOTMAN/ GALLO IMAGES

The Sharks’ new and exciting backline prospect Aphelele Fassi will be making his Super Rugby debut when he starts at fullback against the Sunwolves on Saturday.

Fassi‚ who made a big impact for the Sharks in their successful Currie Cup campaign in 2018‚ was always going to get game time this season due to the compressed nature of the tournament in a World Cup year.

Curwin Bosch’s shoulder injury at the weekend has allowed the 21-year-old to jump the queue, despite the former being due to start at flyhalf before the injury. He is good enough to play Super Rugby and his presence only helps to increase the Sharks’ already burgeoning back-three stock.

Fassi is the only player in the Sharks backline who has not been capped by the Springboks with Lukhanyo Am‚ Makazole Mapimpi‚ S’bu Nkosi and Andre Esterhuizen all back in the reckoning.

Louis Schreuder will captain the side from scrumhalf.

Due to Bosch’s absence,  Robert du Preez will start at flyhalf while the forwards have a familiar look to them. They are packing an all-Springbok front row with Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira‚ Akker van der Merwe and Coenie Oosthuizen all starting, while Hyron Andrews and Ruan Botha start at lock.

The loose-forward complement comprises Jacques Vermeulen‚ Tyler Paul and Daniel du Preez.

There is a proper injection of youth on the bench with Kerron van Vuuren (hooker)‚ Khuthazani Mchunu (prop) and Phendulani Buthelezi (loose forward) all set to make their Super Rugby bows from the bench.