Sharks coach John Plumtree has made surprise selections in midfield for their Super Rugby final against the Chiefs, pairing rookie Paul Jordaan and JP Pietersen.
Pat Lambie returns from an ankle injury, but the real surprise is the centre pair. Jordaan, 20, has been deployed as an outside centre thus far, but shifts to No 12 in Tim Whitehead’s absence and is pitted against Sonny Bill Williams. There have been reservations about Meyer Bosman’s defence and Jordaan’s inclusion ahead of him was probably made with that in mind.
Pietersen was used at 13 early in the season in what was widely considered a failed experiment. He filled in there again last week against the Stormers, but he was expected to return to wing, where he has excelled in recent weeks.
Sharks – 15 Pat Lambie, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (c), 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Steven Sykes, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Riaan Viljoen.