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- 6th Apr 2012
- KO 08:35
- Ground: Westpac Trust Stadium
Hurricanes v Sharks: Teams
At Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth, Friday, April 6, kick-off 08.35 BST
Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett has made three changes to the starting XV that will face the Sharks in New Plymouth on Friday.
Victor Vito, who was a late withdrawal last week after picking up a calf injury, had been due to return but will now sit out this match as well after scans revealed a tear.
It means Jack Lam is promoted from the bench to start at blindside while Faifili Levave shifts back to number eight.
Elsewhere in the pack, Jason Eaton returns to action in the second row where he partners James Broadhurst, while Jeremy Thrush keeps his place in the matchday 22.
Tim Bateman joins captain Conrad Smith in the midfield having missed out against the Cheetahs.
Fly-half Tusi Pisi, who recently joined the 'Canes after a spell in Japan, could make his debut after being named among the replacements.
Sharks coach John Plumtree has made two enforced changes to his side, with Louis Ludik starting on the wing in place of the injured Odwa Ndungane, while Craig Burden gets his first start of the season in place of Bismarck du Plessis.
Du Plessis suffered an injury in training, but has passed a late fitness test on a quadriceps muscle strain and will make an appearance off the bench.
The Springbok hooker has started every match and played every minute of the team's eight hours (plus extra time) of game-time this season thus far.
Patrick Lambie will not play this weekend which means the rest of the backline, aside from Ludik at wing, remains unchanged.
Ludik's place on the bench will be filled by either Marius Joubert or Paul Jordaan - both have been bracketed in the number 22 jersey.
Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Faifili Levave, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Jack Lam, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 James Broadhurst, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Michael Bent, 18 Mark Reddish, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Chris Eaton, 21 Tusi Pisi, 22 Charlie Ngatai.
Sharks: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Jandre Marais, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Anton Bresler, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Marius Joubert/Paul Jordaan.
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Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com