The Cell C Sharks will be looking for a big boost from their returning Boks who have brought plenty of spirit and morale back from Europe, following their outstanding 27-13 victory over England on the weekend.
Previously away on Castle Lager Rugby Championship duty, their return to the Cell C Sharks produced an emphatic message of intent, and the Boks are expected to have the same impact following the Autumn Rugby Internationals.
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and second rower Eben Etzebeth have both carried a heavy load for the national team and haven’t been included, but Cell C Sharks Director of Rugby Neil Powell has named Ox Nche and Bongi Mbonambi in the front row, while Jaden Hendrikse and Curwin Bosch, back from the Boks and injury respectively, form an exciting halfback pairing.
Makazole Mapimpi has also returned to the club and has been named on the wing. In other changes, Vincent Tshituka moves from flanker to lock with Sikhumbuzo Noshe, Jeandre Labuschagne and Phepsi Buthelezi forming a formidable back row. Buthelezi will captain the side.
Ben Tapuai is back in the starting line-up and the Australian international will partner Francois Venter – himself an international – in the midfield, with Boeta Chamberlain slotting in at fullback.
Cell C Sharks: 15 Boeta Chamberlain, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (captain), 7 Jeandre Labuschagne, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Vincent Tshituka, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche. Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 James Venter, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Nevaldo Fleurs, 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg.