While the Sharks are currently on top the South African Super Rugby conference after a well-deserved win over the Waratahs (23 -15) last weekend, they will have to battle it out against the reigning champions tomorrow.
The Crusaders will host the Sharks in a top-of-the-table Super Rugby match on Friday morning in what will be the Sharks’ second tour match, looking to build on the effort put in against the Waratahs.
Crusaders team and injury news
Head Coach Scott Robertson recently named his team for the match against the Sharks at Christchurch Stadium. The front row is unchanged from the team that took the field against the Lions last week.
There is a new locking combination this week with Mitch Dunshea and Scott Barrett to start, and Luke Romano named on the bench. Jordan Taufua gets a start on the blindside, and Matt Todd returns to Captain the team, in the absence of Sam Whitelock, who is on an All Blacks rest week.
Bryn Hall is another who returns to the squad and will start at halfback, with Mitch Drummond moving to the reserves, and Mitch Hunt gets an opportunity in the No. 10 jersey in place of Richie Mo’unga, who is also on All Blacks rest. Brett Cameron will provide cover in the reserves.
A new midfield combination will take the field against the Sharks, with Jack Goodhue lining up to start at second five-eighth and Braydon Ennor retaining his spot at centre. Goodhue, alongside Codie Taylor, has been named as Vice-Captain for this game. The final change in the starting side sees promising young outside back Will Jordan start at fullback.
Crusaders: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Mitchell Dunshea, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Isi Tu’ungafasi, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Tim Bateman
Sharks team and injury news
Head coach Robert du Preez made minimal changes to the team that beat the Waratahs last weekend.
Thomas du Toit will revert to the loosehead side of the scrum in place of Beast Mtawarira, who has returned home with an MCL injury to his left knee.
Following the impressive victory of their first game on tour down under, the @CellC Sharks are hoping to build a winning streak as they take on the @crusadersrugby this Friday. 🏉#CRUvSHA #OurSharksForever 🦈 pic.twitter.com/iCYCN26snx
— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) April 29, 2019
Coenie Oosthuizen starts at tighthead while Ruan Botha, after making his comeback from injury last week off the bench will start this match with Hyron Andrews given respite after a sustained period of rugby, although he has been named amongst the reserves.
There is just one change in the backline with Louis Schreuder returning to the starting line-up and taking back the captaincy armband worn by Beast Mtawarira against the Waratahs.
Sharks: 15. Aphelele Fassi, 14. Sbu Nkosi, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 10. Curwin Bosch, 9. Louis Schreuder (captain), 8. Daniel du 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
Substitutes: 16. Akker van der Merwe, 17. Mzamo Majola, 18. John-Hubert Meyer, 19. Hyron Andrews, 20. Jacques Vermeulen, 21. Cameron Wright, 22. Robert du Preez, 23. Marius Louw
Kick off time
Friday, 3 May 2019 at 09:35 (SAST).
TV and live stream
The game will be broadcast live on SuperSport 1 (SS1).