The Sharks will have to do without star flyhalf Curwin Bosch for Saturday’s Super Rugby encounter against the Hurricanes in Wellington.
Bosch‚ who controlled the Sharks in their wins against the Bulls at home and the Highlanders away‚ has had to return to SA due to bereavement.
He has been replaced by youngster Boeta Chamberlain‚ who will have to contend with Jackson Garden-Bachop at flyhalf for the Hurricanes.
Chamberlain is the only starting change for the Sharks as coach Sean Everitt remains with the other 14 who bullied the Highlanders in Dunedin
With the Hurricanes having a stronger and more cohesive pack than the Highlanders‚ Everitt has gone for a six forwards/two backs split with scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba and centre Jeremy Ward the backs.
Everitt knows his team set a high performance bar last week and maintaining it will be tough against an improved Hurricanes team.
After being blanked by the Stormers in their opening game‚ the Canes bounced back with a 26-23 away win against the Jaguares.
“We’re hoping for more of the same from last week — if the weather allows it. It looks like it’s going to remain the same which is good‚ and we can then look to unleash our backs again‚” Everitt said.
From a bench perspective‚ All Blacks hooker Dane Coles will be unleashed from the bench by Jason Holland as the Hurricanes will endeavour to protect their 10-year home unbeaten run against the Sharks.
In a proper backline powerplay‚ Vince Aso will be partnering Ngani Laumape at centre while Vaea Fifita gets a start in his favoured blindside flank position.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett‚ 14 Wes Goosen‚ 13 Vince Aso‚ 12 Ngani Laumape‚ 11 Ben Lam‚ 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop‚ 9 TJ Perenara (c)‚ 8 Reed Prinsep‚ 7 Gareth Evans‚ 6 Vaea Fifita‚ 5 Scott Scrafton‚ 4 Isaia Walker-Leawere‚ 3 Tyrel Lomax‚ 2 Asafo Aumua‚ 1 Fraser Armstrong. Replacements: 16 Dane Coles‚ 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones‚ 18 Alex Fidow‚ 19 Liam Mitchell‚ 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi‚ 21 Jamie Booth‚ 22 Fletcher Smith‚ 23 Billy Proctor.
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi‚ 14 Madosh Tambwe‚ 13 Lukhanyo Am (c), 12 André Esterhuizen‚ 11 Makazole Mapimpi‚ 10 Boeta Chamberlain‚ 9 Louis Schreuder‚ 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe‚ 7 Tyler Paul‚ 6 James Venter‚ 5 Hyron Andrews‚ 4 Ruben van Heerden‚ 3 Thomas du Toit‚ 2 Kerron van Vuuren‚ 1 Ox Nche. Replacements: 16 Craig Burden‚ 17 Juan Schoeman‚ 18 John-Hubert Meyer‚ 19 Le Roux Roets‚ 20 Dylan Richardson‚ 21 Phendulani Buthelezi‚ 22 Sanele Nohamba‚ 23 Jeremy Ward.