Sharks shift Kolisi to the bench, Du Toit will captain against Dragons

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The Sharks host the Dragons from Wales on Friday night at Kings Park in a crucial United Rugby Championship clash, which has particularly increased in importance after the disappointing defeat to Edinburgh last weekend.

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The coastal side are already without regular captain Lukhanyo Am, who has taken up a short-term stint in Japan, while Kolisi is now rotated down to the bench.

Sharks head coach Sean Everitt has opted to freshen up the pack, and in all there are five changes to last week’s side, four of those among the forwards.

In the second row, Le Roux Roets gets a start in Reniel Hugo’s place while there is an all-new back row comprising James Venter for Kolisi, Jeandre Labuschagne for Henco Venter and Phepsi Buthelezi coming in for Sikhumbuzo Notshe.

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Jaden Hendrikse replacing Grant Williams is the only change to a backline retained almost entirely from last week.

With Kolisi playing off the bench, tighthead prop Thomas du Toit is handed the captaincy.

Casting his eye over their opponents this week, Everitt believes that the Dragons will be stronger than their recent form of late suggests.

“All the Europeans teams will be stronger than what we’ve faced over the last couple of weeks because they’re getting their players back from Six Nations duty.

“So no team in this competition can be underestimated. If you’re off your game on the day, you can get a big hiding.”

The Sharks are currently eighth on the URC table

With the Dragons dwindling down in 15th place on the log, the Sharks will be targeting a big performance.

“For us, it’s about being more accurate in our execution and hoping to improve on Friday night,” Everitt commented.

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Sharks – 15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Jeandre Labuschagne, 6 James Venter, 5 Le Roux Roets, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Thomas du Toit (c), 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Khuta Mchunu, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Siya Kolisi, 22 Grant Williams, 23 Boeta Chamberlain.

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