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Smit back at prop – John Smit will start at loosehead prop for the Sharks’ match against the Waratahs in Durban on Saturday.
The Springbok captain recovered from a calf injury and returns to the Sharks front row at Beast Mtawarira’s expense – with head coach John Plumtree keeping Bismarck du Plessis at hooker. Tighthead prop Eugene van Staden fills in for the injured Jannie du Plessis.
Amongst the loose trio, Keegan Daniel is preferred at No 8 ahead of Willem Alberts.
In the backline, scrumhalf Conrad Hoffman gets his first start of the season and Charl McLoed drops to the reserves. Wing Lwazi Mvovo replaces the injured Odwa Ndungane.
Sharks – 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Stefan Terblanche, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Conrad Hoffmann, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Eugene van Staden, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 John Smit (c).
Subs: 16 Beast Mtawarira, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Gerhard Mostert, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22 Riaan Swanepoel.