Sharks captain Lukhanyo Am returns to face Reds
The team from KwaZulu-Natal will be seeking their first win in Brisbane in nearly five years
The Sharks have their captain Lukhanyo Am back from a Springbok-enforced break and will be sporting a new back-row combination for Saturday’s end-of-tour clash against the Reds in Brisbane.
Am has come in for Jeremy Ward‚ who has dropped to the bench, while loose-forwards Henco Venter and Dylan Richardson have come in for Tyler Paul and James Venter.
Makazole Mapimpi has been given a break and is being replaced by the experienced Lwazi Mvovo.
Louis Schreuder and Sanele Nohamba have swapped places at scrumhalf as the Sharks seek their first win in Brisbane in nearly five years.
The Reds have been a tricky team for the Sharks in recent years‚ with the Brisbane side winning the previous two encounters.
Sharks prop Thomas du Toit said the Reds have shrugged off their poor start to the season and showed what they are capable of after destroying the Sunwolves at home last week.
“They played their full strength side against the Sunwolves and they played some very good rugby.
“We have respect for them knowing what they’re capable of, but it’s not something you stand back for‚” Du Toit said. “It’s going to be a big challenge‚ but we’re going to welcome it.”
Sharks coach Sean Everitt said their week-on-week improvement has been one of their endgames throughout the tour.
The Sharks scrum was a key facet of their win against the Rebels last week, and the Reds will be a sterner test of their abilities.
“With both of them being Springboks‚ it made a difference and the guys that came on had a good day.
“We won a scrum penalty with our bench. As a whole‚ the team is displaying a lot of energy on the field and the excitement they show is rubbing off on one another. We’ve managed to put in some good performances along the way‚” Everitt said.
Reds: 15 Jock Campbell‚ 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia‚ 13 Hunter Paisami‚ 12 Hamish Stewart‚ 11 Henry Speight‚ 10 James O’Connor‚ 9 Tate McDermott‚ 8 Harry Wilson‚ 7 Liam Wright (c)‚ 6 Angus Scott-Young‚ 5 Harry Hockings‚ 4 Izack Rodda‚ 3 Taniela Tupou‚ 2 Alex Mafi‚ 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Ed Craig‚ 17 Harry Hoopert‚ 18 Josh Nasser‚ 19 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto‚ 20 Fraser McReight‚ 21 Scott Malolua‚ 22 Isaac Lucas‚ 23 Filipo Daugunu.
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi‚ 14 Madosh Tambwe‚ 13 Lukhanyo Am (c), 12 Andre Esterhuizen‚ 11 Lwazi Mvovo‚ 10 Curwin Bosch‚ 9 Louis Schreuder‚ 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe‚ 7 Henco Venter‚ 6 Dylan Richardson‚ 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 Phepsi Buthelezi‚ 21 Sanele Nohamba‚ 22 Marius Louw‚ 23 Jeremy Ward.
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