Strong Sharks to face Pumas
Sharks head coach John Plumtree has named a strong side for their final pre-season friendly, which sees them take on the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday.
In the line-up is Francois Steyn, who captains the Durban outfit this season due to Keegan Daniel's extended absence with a severe knee injury.
Patrick Lambie also starts the game alongside Jean Deysel, Jannie du Plessis and Tendai Mtawarira. Craig Burden is named at hooker.
"It might be closer to the starting line-up, but obviously that depends on how they perform," Plumtree told the Sharks official website.
"Everyone played really well in Maritzburg, but the opposition was pretty average, that was the disappointing part of that game as well as the injuries I guess."
Plumtree believes his side faces a much sterner opposition this week in the shape of the Pumas.
"They have an experienced coach in Jimmy Stonehouse, they'll come out firing and we should get a physical, competitive hit-out, which we want," he added.
"You always want to play well before you go into any competition. We are staying up there for a day or two afterwards, we'll visit the Kruger Park and have a bit of team-building, which will be very nice. But you want to have a good performance so you can enjoy those couple of days. And we've got to make sure it doesn't distract us from our task, which is obviously to play well against the Pumas.
"I was really impressed with the attitude against the Leopards last week, we had a really nice crowd. The players need to set a standard in terms of attitude, and we are playing at altitude, which will be a good thing before we go to Bloemfontein."
The Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Francois Steyn (capt), 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Francois Kleinhans, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Meyer Bosman, 23 Odwa Ndungane, 24 Riaan Viljoen.
Date: Friday, February 15
Kick-off: 19:00 local
Venue: KaNyamazane Stadium, Nelspruit