Botes one of three Currie Cup changes for Lions

Currie Cup champions the Sharks have named their team to play the Golden Lions at Kings Park in Durban on Friday with Jacques Botes returning to the starting line up.

The match could be Botes’ Kings Park swansong as the Sharks must win this week if they want to retain any hope of claiming a home semi-final.

The return of the loose forward Botes at the expense of Khaya Majola, is one of three changes made by coach Brad MacLeod-Henderson to his side.

“I said earlier in the week that the word legend is maybe used too often these days, but Jaques is really a legend both on the field and off it,” the Sharks coach said.

“As a team man, I don’t think you’ll find better anywhere in the world. We’ll be going out in potentially his last game at Kings Park to make sure he ends with a victory.”

Lock Stephan Lewies and prop Thomas du Toit are both back from injury and start in place of JC Astle and Dale Chadwick respectively.

“It’s quite comforting as a coach to have some guys back,” MacLeod-Henderson said.

“But the other guys have done nicely and you don’t want to make too many changes after getting a 50-point win.”

Hooker Kyle Cooper has been bracketed with Monde Hadebe and faces a late fitness test on his injured knee.

“He’s also got a bit of a knee complaint and we’ll make a decision on him on Thursday,” the coach explained.

The backline remains unchanged after Springbok winger Lwazi Mvovo was again released to play by national coach Heyneke Meyer.

Among the replacements, Matt Stevens and Fred Zeilinga have both also been passed fit to play and have been named on the bench.

“The Lions are one of the front runners in the competition, and they have really set the Currie Cup alight since the first round.”

“So we know we’ve got a huge challenge on our hands, one we’re looking forward to.”

Sharks

SP Marais, S’bura Sithole, Paul Jordaan, Andre Esterhuizen, Lwazi Mvovo, Lionel Cronje, Cameron Wright, Tera Mtembu (captain), Etienne Oosthuizen, Jacques Botes, Marco Wentzel, Stephan Lewies, Lourens Adriaanse, Kyle Cooper/Monde Hadebe, Thomas du Toit.

Replacements: Monde Hadebe/Franco Marais, Dale Chadwick, Matt Stevens, JC Astle, Khaya Majola, Conrad Hoffmann, Fred Zeilinga.

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