Curwin Bosh has been retained as flyhalf for the Sharks Super Rugby match against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday.
This follows his belated first entrance this year as flyhalf for last week’s Sharks win against the Waratahs. Friday should be a real test for Bosch and the Sharks against the defending champions and run-away log leaders.
Last week’s Sharks captain Beast Mtawarira, who recently became the most capped South African in Super Rugby, is on his way back to South to have scans on an MCL injury to his left knee.
It is another injury setback involving frontline Springboks, with Pieter-Steph du Toit (shoulder) and Jesse Kriel also sidelined after last weekend’s match between the Stormers and the Bulls. Kriel will be out of action for between six and eight weeks.
It is not known how long Mtawarira will be out for. He has been replaced in the Sharks squad by Khutha Mchunu.
♦ Mtawarira will be replaced as loosehead by Thomas du Toit for the match against the Crusaders. Du Toit first made his mark as loosehead prop before he moved to to the right side of the scrum at the end of 2017.
In other changes to the Sharks pack Coenie Oosthuizen will start at tighthead for the Sharks and lock Ruan Botha replaces Hyron Andrews, who gets a break through this rotation.
The only change in the backline is the return of team captain Louis Schreuder who is back in the starting lineup. He was rested in accordance with the Springbok protocols against the Waratahs.
15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Dandu Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Thomas du Toit. Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Hyron Andrew, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Robert du Preez, 23 Marius Louw.