Head coach Sean Everitt has made just three changes from the last outing, a 41-21 penultimate round victory over Connacht at Hollywoodbets Kings Park at the end of April.
There is a new lock pairing of Ruben van Heerden and Reniel Hugo, who come in for Le Roux Roets and Gerbrandt Grobler respectively, with just the one change to the backline, where Am returns to action after his two-month stint in Japan, taking over from Ben Tapuai at outside centre.
The league phase of the tournament couldn’t have ended on a more dramatic note, with only Leinster having guaranteed their position at the top of the log, and just six log points separating teams two through eight.
Home ground advantage is key in any competition come the knock-out rounds, but so too is the reward that comes with winning your country’s Shield and for this reason, there will be no holding back from the Cell C Sharks.
“We’re currently sitting on top of the South African Shield and third on the log, so there is everything to play for,” said Everitt.
“We know what a huge challenge it is to go to Belfast to play at Kingspan, but we do believe we have the ability and the players, as well as the coaching team to go over there and do the job.
“It would be really good for us if we were able to come home and play in front of our fans at Hollywoodbets Kings Park in a quarter and semi-final.”
Cell C Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit (captain), 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche. Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jeandre Labuschagne, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Grant Williams, 23 Boeta Chamberlain.