Muir relies on rookie Sharks

Eight players will make their Absa Currie Cup debuts for the Sharks against the Pumas in Durban on Friday night.

Okkie Vermeulen, Craig Burden, Steve Meyer, Keegan Daniel, Wouter Moore, Jody Jenneker, Nikolai Blignaut and Conrad Stoltz have all been given an opportunity to play as part of Dick Muir’s dual-team system.

Kees Lensing is also back in the side after being ordered by the doctor to pull out of the Western Province clash with flu, while prop Danie Saayman, lock Steven Sykes, wing Dusty Noble and fullback Brett Hennessey all retain their places (Noble shifts to the right wing).

Skipper Badenhorst will wear the No 2 jersey, with Moore at lock. The former Free Stater has represented South Africa at U19 and U21 level and is just 22 years old.

The loosies include captain Jaco Gouws, the highly rated Daniel and Ryan Kankowski.

Sandile Nxumalo and Steve Meyer are the halfbacks, with Andries Strauss and Vermeulen in midfield. Burden will play on the left wing.

Sharks team to play Pumas:

15. Brett Hennessey. 14. Dusty Noble, 13. Okkie Vermeulen, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Craig Burden, 10. Steve Meyer, 9. Sandile Nxumalo, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Jaco Gouws (c), 6. Keegan Daniel, 5. Steven Sykes, 4. Wouter Moore, 3. Danie Saayman, 2. Skipper Badenhorst, 1. Kees Lensing
Subs: 16. Jody Jenneker, 17. Sangoni Mxoli, 18. Nikolai Blignaut, 19. Conrad Stoltz, 20. Scott Mathie, 21. Gcobani Bobo, 22. Mzwandile Stick