Super Rugby preview: Sharks v Kings
By Sam Drury. Last Updated: 12/07/13 1:44pm
The Sharks take on the Kings in the last game of the season for both sides with little but pride to play for
The hosts know a win in Durban could see them finish as high as seventh in the overall standings and pip the Stormers to third in the South African conference.
For the Kings there is a desire to avoid picking up the wooden spoon in the Super Rugby table, although any chance of avoiding that dubious honour in the national conference has long since passed.
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As they go in search of a rare win, the Kings make a whole raft of changes from the side beaten at home to the Stormers last weekend. Just three players keep their places in the starting XV and Mpho Mbiyozo, Aidon Davis and Thabo Majomela all handed debuts.
Another change sees front-rower Kevin Buys return after missing the Stormers clash with a back injury.
The Sharks have moved Riaan Viljoen to fly-half with Patrick Lambie ruled out due to a back strain. JP Pietersen returns on the wing meaning Odwa Ndungane starts at 15.
There is also a place for Meyer Bosman at centre with Butch James suspended. Willem Alberts is only fit enough to start on the bench with Keegan Daniel selected to captain the side. The final change see Jaco van Tonder left out in favour of Fred Zeilinga taking his place amongst the replacements.
Sharks coach Hugh Reece-Edwards know his side are clear favourites but is anticipating a difficult game.
"If you look at the Kings, they've played pretty well this season and they gave the Stormers a bit of a fright last Saturday," he said on the Sharks site.
"They've proven that they are a tough side to beat, they don't give up and have the best tackle percentage in the competition. With that in mind, we can really expect a hard game."
Sharks: Odwa Ndungane, JP Pietersen, Louis Ludik, Meyer Bosman, Lwazi Mvovo, Riaan Viljoen, Charl McLeod, Keegan Daniel (captain), Jean Deysel, Marcell Coetzee, Franco van der Merwe, Edwin Hewitt, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: Kyle Cooper, Wiehahn Herbst, Jandré Marais, Willem Alberts, Jacques Botes, Cobus Reinach, Fred Zeilinga.
Southern Kings: Siviwe Soyizwapi, Hadleigh Parkes, Waylon Murray, Shane Gates, Marcello Sampson, George Whitehead, Nicolas Vergallo, Jacques Engelbrecht, Mpho Mbiyozo, Devin Oosthuizen, David Bulbring, Steven Sykes (captain) Kevin Buys, Hannes Franklin, Charl du Plessis.
Replacements: Grant Kemp, Bandise Maku, Darron Nell, Thabo Mamojele, Aidon Davis, Shaun Venter, Michael Killian.