Fassi returns as Sharks name a strong lineup to Leinster

Fassi returns as Sharks name a strong lineup to Leinster

The Sharks will look to returning Springbok, fullback Aphelele Fassi, to bring his special form of magic on Saturday when the team hosts Leinster at Hollywoodbets Kings Park in a massive Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash.

The 24-year-old fullback has been sidelined for a month but returns as the Sharks gun for a play-off place against the competition's leaders.

According to the United Rugby Championship's Play-Off Predictor, currently have a 88% chance of making the knockouts. A loss against Leinster will drop that percentage to 87 while a victory will almost certainly secure a spot as the predictor suggests a 99% chance of them making it.

Leinster come to Durban full of confidence from their successful campaign in the URC, but missing a number of internationals, while the Sharks have named an almost unchanged line-up from the one that scored a five-pointer against the Lions in their last outing.

With Leinster’s focus alternating between the URC and the Champions Cup, player welfare plays a big role and to this end, they have only brought six players to South Africa with them from last week’s match 23 against Connacht.

They still have numerous experienced internationals on their two-match tour and will, as their log position confirms, present an enormous challenge to a Sharks side itself riding a wave of confidence.

Aphelele Fassi makes a welcome return to the side after an injury lay-off that saw him miss a number of games and his speed, agility and x-factor will no doubt test the Irish visitors and tournament log leaders.

The only other change to the matchday 23 is rotational, where Le Roux Roets partners Gerbrandt Grobler in the second row with Reniel Hugo moving to the bench.

With the theme of Sharksfest coupled with the recent devastation foremost in the Sharks’ mind, this match is all about putting smiles on the faces of the fans and what better way to do it than to produce a performance filled with character, determination and pride.

1. Ox Nche
2. Bongi Mbonambi
3. Thomas du Toit (c)
4. Le Roux Roets
5. Gerbrandt Grobler
6. Siya Kolisi (v/c)
7. Henco Venter
8. Phepsi Buthelezi
9. Jaden Hendrikse
10. Curwin Bosch
11. Makazole Mapimpi
12. Marius Louw
13. Ben Tapuai
14. Werner Kok
15. Aphelele Fassi

16. Kerron van Vuuren
17. Ntuthuko Mchunu
18. Khutha Mchunu
19. Reniel Hugo
20. Jeandre Labuschagne
21. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
22. Grant Williams
23. Boeta Chamberlain

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