Plumtree shows his hand
Sharks coach John Plumtree has made three changesto his starting XV for Saturday's Currie Cup semi-final with the Blue Bulls in Durban.
In changes to last week's side, JP Pietersen shifts to the right wing in place of Odwa Ndungane who failed a late fitness test after sustaining an ankle injury against Griquas last weekend.
Jacques Botes, another player under an injury cloud (back), also failed to make it and will miss out this week. His place in the run-on side is taken by Marcell Coetzee.
The third player facing a late decision was Steven Sykes who has been bracketed in with Peet Marais on the bench.
After playing off the bench last weekend, the Springbok duo of Lwazi Mvovo and Jannie du Plessis start this week, while Beast Mtawarira and Willem Alberts, who were rested last week following their heavy workload in the Rugby Championship, have been recalled and will feature off the bench.
"We're starting Jannie, it's a big game and he had some Currie Cup action last week," explained Plumtree.
"He'll be partnered by Dale Chadwick and Kyle Cooper, and then we have a whole front row on the bench with Craig Burden, Beast and Wiehahn Herbst.
"It could be wet and having Willem Alberts and someone with experience like Steven Sykes on the bench will be important because how we finish the game off could be vital.
"There were a lot of choices, but I don't think we could ignore what the guys have achieved without the guys who are now back. And we also couldn't ignore the importance of experience.
"Everyone is just really excited."
Flanker Jean Deysel will make his 50th Currie Cup appearance for the home side.
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Jandré Marais, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Steven Sykes/Peet Marais, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Meyer Bosman.
Date: Saturday, October 20
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 16.30 (14.30 GMT)
Referee: Mark Lawrence
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha, Christie du Preez
TMO: Shaun Veldsman