Bismarck injection for Sharks

Bismarck du Plessis and Jacques Botes return to the Sharks team to take on the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.

The pair have both been on the bench for the opening couple of encounters but replace John Smit and Keegan Daniel this week. Du Plessis and Botes were battling pre-season injuries but have recovered fully.

These are the only changes to the team that dealt with the Lions 25-10, with Beast Mtawarira remaining on the bench after Deon Carstens scored in last week’s victory.

Sharks coach John Plumtree is not under-estimating the Chiefs, who have lost their opening encounters against last year’s finalists the Crusaders and Waratahs.

“They will be really desperate,” said Plumtree. “They won’t want to go three down. In fairness, they have probably had the hardest draw of any New Zealand side, playing last year’s finalists in the opening two weeks away from home.

“There won’t be panic stations just yet, and with us out of the way and having played the Waratahs and Crusaders, they know they will have got possibly three of the better teams out the way, but certainly, you don’t want to drop any home games.”

Sharks – 15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Adrian Jacobs, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Johann Muller (c), 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Deon Carstens.
Subs – 16 John Smit, 17 Beast Mtawarira, 18 Alistair Hargreaves, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Riaan Swanepoel, 22, Luzuko Vulindlu.