Sharks v Bulls: Teams
At Kings Park, Durban, Friday 6 July, Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Last Updated: 06/07/12 10:53am
Patrick Lambie and Willem Alberts were both ruled out of the Sharks' clash with the Bulls at Kings Park on Friday due to injury.
Alberts and Lambie picked up knocks during the Springboks' series victory over England last month.
Ryan Kankowski's admirable performance in the final Test in Port Elizabeth has seen him come into the starting line-up, with Marcell Coetzee and captain Keegan Daniel completing the back row.
An injury to Steven Sykes opens the door for lock Pieter-Steph du Toit to gain his first start having played off the bench on four previous occasions.
Du Toit was part of the triumphant Baby Boks side at the recent IRB U20 World Championship and will partner Anton Bresler in the second row.
There is no change to the first-choice Sharks and Springbok front-row of Beast Mtawarira and brothers Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis.
Frederic Michalak, also fresh off a great return to the French national side, will partner Charl McLeod at half-back with Frans Steyn back with the Sharks and starting a potentially powerful midfield partnership with Tim Whitehead. Lwazi Mvovo, JP Pietersen and Louis Ludik complete the team.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has named an unchanged matchday 22 to face the Sharks in Durban.
Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle will play in his 50th Super Rugby game for the Bulls after making his debut in 2006 against the Cheetahs.
Lock Wilhelm Steenkamp will make his 50th appearance in the competition if he makes it on from the bench. He debuted in 2008 for the Bulls against the Stormers and has also played for the Sharks (five matches) and Cheetahs (13 matches).
Bjorn Basson (nine tries) can extend the tries in a season record (shared with Bryan Habana) if he scores again this season.
Ludeke said team selection this week was straight forward and expected the team that outclassed the Cheetahs last weekend to deliver the goods again at Kings Park.
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (c), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai MtawariraReplacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Odwa Ndungane
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Dewald Potgieter, 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 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouche, 22 Francois Venter