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Fresh off last week’s dismantling of the Highlanders in Dunedin, the Sharks will look to prolong their undefeated start to Super Rugby after their season-opening victory over the Stormers in Durban a fortnight ago.
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Both outside backs will again be integral to the Sharks’ chances of victory in the Kiwi capital on Saturday, and both have been retained in the starting lineup by head coach Sean Everitt.
In fact, all but one of the players who started in the Sharks’ 42-20 drubbing of the Highlanders eight days ago will again run out against the Hurricanes, with star playmaker Curwin Bosch the only casualty.
— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) February 13, 2020
The 22-year-old has returned to South Africa following a family bereavement, and has been replaced in the No. 10 jersey by youngster Boeta Chamberlain.
That switch has spurred two changes on the bench, as loose forward duo Dylan Richardson and Phepsi Buthelezi come in as Chamberlain and Sanele Nohamba’s replacements to give the Sharks a 6-2 positional split in the reserves.
The hosts, meanwhile, will be aiming to build on their 26-23 comeback win over the Jaguares in Buenos Aires last week, which came after a dismal 27-0 thrashing at the hands of the Stormers in Cape Town in round one.
Jordie Barrett’s monstrous 63m penalty eventually proved vital to the Hurricanes’ success in the Argentine capital, and it wouldn’t surprise to see the All Blacks fullback’s massive boot again utilised in front of his home crowd on Saturday.
He will again start in the No. 15 jersey and is one of 11 players who have kept their places in head coach Jason Holland’s starting side.
The three personnel changes have come at lock, in the loose forwards and in the midfield.
— Hurricanes Rugby (@Hurricanesrugby) February 13, 2020
Vince Aso is the only alteration in the backline, with the 25-year-old slotting in for young prospect Bill Proctor at centre.
In the forward pack, promising flanker Du’Plessi Kirifi has been demoted to the bench in place Vaea Fifita, whose inclusion in the starting XV has forced a back row re-shuffle.
On the bench, veteran All Blacks hooker Dane Coles is primed to make his first appearance of the 2020 campaign in the No. 16 jersey.
He is among five new faces in the reserves, alongside Proctor, Kirifi, lock Liam Mitchell and prop Pouri Rakete-Stones.
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