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Sharks name bruising forward pack

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sharksrugby.co.za     19 Jul 2012     Getty Images

Willem Alberts, who came off the bench last week following an injury sustained with the Springboks, will this week get a start, although with the loose-forward trio playing so well last weekend against the Cheetahs (all three scored tries in that match), The Sharks coach has decided to leave it intact and Alberts slips into the lock position.

Steven Sykes, back from his own injury-enforced break, will provide plenty of experience as second row cover off the bench while the Springbok duo of Tendai Mtawarira and Bismarck du Plessis are both named in the front row after Beast missed the game with gastro and Bismarck played for 44 minutes after coming off the bench.

The final two changes are in the backline where the loss of Frans Steyn (he was unable to qualify for the Finals Series) sees Paul Jordaan slot in at outside centre with Tim Whitehead shifting to inside centre, and Louis Ludik replacing Pat Lambie at fullback after the Springbok had a recurrence of the ankle injury he sustained against England during the June Test series.

Interestingly, the last time these two teams met in the knock-outs was back in 1996 when The Sharks prevailed in the semi-final, also in Brisbane, winning that match 43-25.

The Sharks

1. Tendai Mtawarira
2. Bismarck du Plessis
3. Jannie du Plessis
4. Willem Alberts
5. Anton Bresler
6. Keegan Daniel (Captain)
7. Marcell Coetzee
8. Ryan Kankowski
9. Charl McLeod
10. Frederic Michalak
11. Lwazi Mvovo
12. Tim Whitehead
13. Paul Jordaan
14. JP Pietersen
15. Louis Ludik

Replacements
16. Craig Burden
17. Wiehahn Herbst
18. Steven Sykes
19. Jacques Botes
20. Cobus Reinach
21. Meyer Bosman
22. Odwa Ndungane