Big boys get a break

The Sharks have made five changes to the team that lost to the Vodacom Cheetahs last week.

Most of the rotation happens in the pack where Dick Muir has opted to rest his key forwards ahead of a prospective return to Vodacom Park next week.

Skipper Badenhorst and Deon Carstens scrum down at prop and hooker respectively, allowing veteran Kees Lensing and Bismarck du Plessis to have a deserved break, albeit on the reserves bench.

As a result of Johann Muller’s disciplinary indiscretions, Johan Ackermann partners Steven Sykes in the second row. 20-year-old Johan Snyman will provide the back-up at lock.

Keegan Daniel gets his second start of the season at open-side flank, assuming the role of breakdown scavenger from his captain Warren Britz.

While earlier media reports suggested that Brent Russell would play at fullback, he yet again finds himself in the all-too-familiar confines of the dugout. Francois Steyn holds onto the flyhalf jersey despite Butch James’ recovery from injury and with Ruan Pienaar struggling with a minor shoulder ailment, Scott Mathie will complete the halfback pairing.

By Ryan Vrede

Sharks team to play Valke – Saturday (3pm):

15. JP Pietersen 14. Odwa Ndungane 13. Waylon Murray 12. Bradley Barritt 11. Adrian Jacobs 10. Francois Steyn 9. Scott Mathie 8. Ryan Kankowski 7. Jacques Botes (capt) 6. Keegan Daniel 5. Steven Sykes 4. Johan Ackermann 3. BJ Botha 2. Skipper Badenhorst 1. Deon Carstens Replacements: 16. Bismarck du Plessis 17. Kees Lensing 18. Johan Snyman 19. Warren Britz 20. Ruan Pienaar 21. Brent Russell 22. Butch James