The changes are both rotational, with Hyron Andrews and Reniel Hugo swapping jersey numbers in the second row, likewise Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Phepsi Buthelezi at No 8.
With a Cell C Sharks loose-forward trio that leans towards mobility and athleticism, rather than big, heavy ball-carriers, Notshe fits the bill perfectly, alongside flankers James Venter and Dylan Richardson.
“As coaches, we’re really excited with what we’ve seen [with the loose trio] over the last couple of weeks, it’s been phenomenal, and we know there’s going to be even more improvement in that department as we progress in the competition," said Warren Whiteley, assistant coach.
“What’s most important for us is the cohesion of the players which is really important and that does take time, especially in a loose trio and they’ll find each other the more they play together.
“And we have our Springboks as well as guys coming back from injury who will join the squad. But it’s really all about cohesion, guys playing together and finding combinations that work best for the team.”
Looking at the opposition, Whiteley admitted that it’s going to be a real test for the Cell C Sharks, but a challenge they embrace fully: “We know Leinster have a powerful pack and a very strong maul – amongst other things – and this week is another great opportunity for us to keep improving.”
Cell C Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Dylan Richardson, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Thomas du Toit (captain), 2 Kerron van Vurren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu. Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marnus Potgieter 23 Anthony Volmink.