The Sharks have declined an invitation to play the Stormers and the Lions in a pre-season Tri-Series at Newlands at the end of January.
The Durban-based franchise has competed in the tournament in recent years, but said a long upcoming Super Rugby campaign meant it wasn’t ideal to play tough warm-up matches beforehand.
‘We will play Boland and the EP Kings over two weekends early in February,’ Sharks assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards told The Witness newspaper. ‘Playing in the Newlands triangular involved playing two games [against the Lions and the Stormers] in four days at the end of this month.
‘We think it will be more beneficial to our planning and preparation to spread the games over two weekends, particularly this early in the season and with a long year ahead of us.
‘I believe the Cheetahs are taking our place in Cape Town,’ he added.
The Sharks kick off their 2012 Super Rugby season with a match against the Bulls at Loftus on 24 February.