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Sharks v Bulls - Super Rugby match preview
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The Sharks name three changes to their line-up ahead of Saturday's Super Rugby encounter with the Bulls in Durban.
Sharks coach John Plumtree welcomes back Tendai Mtawarira, who will start in the front row with Janse van Rensburg left out of the match-day squad.
In the second row Pieter-Steph du Toit deputises for Anton Bresler, who sustained a shoulder injury in training on Thursday.
The lone change in the Sharks backline sees an injured JP Pietersen replaced by Piet Lindeque at outside centre.
Meanwhile Frans Ludeke has made four changes to the Bulls squad which beat the Highlanders 35-18 last weekend.
Bjorn Basson is back in the Bulls starting XV on the left wing with Lionel Mapoe dropping to the bench.
In the centres Wynand Olivier will start on the outside as Jan Serfontein faces a late fitness test to confirm his inclusion on the bench, as does replacement fly-half Louis Fouche.
Ludeke names just one change up front with Dean Greyling returning to the starting XV in place of Morne Mellett at lossehead prop.
Sharks: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Piet Lindeque, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (capt), 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Tera Mtembu, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Sean Robinson.
Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (capt), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouche/Jan Serfontein, 22 Lionel Mapoe.
What they said...
Sharks head coach John Plumtree
"This is a big game for both teams, the Bulls have been playing really well lately, their forwards have dominated and they're enjoying momentum.
"They've also dominated territory through their kicking game, they've dominated upfront and we know it's going to be a really tough game for us."
Bulls head coach Frans Ludeke
"I would like to believe that we managed to sustain the core values of rugby at Loftus Versfeld, where dedication and hard work, professionalism, passion and performance are part of the normal day of life," the double Super Rugby winning coach said on being awarded a new three-year contract.
"The challenge will be to keep on honouring the drive to excellence and to sustain the winning culture and habit."
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|Friday 13th February|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Reds|
|17:10||Lions vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 14th February|
|06:35||Blues vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Sharks vs Cheetahs|
|17:05||Bulls vs Stormers|
|Sunday 15th February|
|06:05||Waratahs vs Western Force|
|Friday 20th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Brumbies|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs|
|17:10||Bulls vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 21st February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Reds vs Western Force|
|15:05||Stormers vs Blues|
|17:10||Sharks vs Lions|
|Friday 27th February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Reds|
|11:00||Western Force vs Hurricanes|
|17:10||Cheetahs vs Blues|
|Saturday 28th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies|
|15:05||Bulls vs Sharks|
|17:10||Lions vs Stormers|
|Friday 6th March|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Highlanders|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Western Force|
|Saturday 7th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Lions|
|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com