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Sharks aim to return to winning ways against Rebels

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Sharks aim to return to winning ways against Rebels - Sports Leo

The Sharks will hope to bounce back to winning ways in their third Australasian Super Rugby tour match against the Rebels in Ballarat outside Melbourne on Saturday morning (5.45 am SA time).

In the first of two local matches to be staged later on Saturday, the Stormers face a stern test when they host the formidable Jaguares at 3.05 pm in Cape Town.

Thereafter, the Bulls return to action when they play their first home match of the season in Pretoria against the Blues from New Zealand. Kick-off at Loftus Versfeld is at 5.15 pm.

Springbok centre Andre Esterhuizen will take over the captaincy duties from regular skipper Lukhanyo Am, who is being rested, for the Sharks’ fourth-round match with the Rebels on Saturday in Ballarat.

The Rebels will play their first match at Mars Stadium in Ballarat – approximately 100km north-west of Melbourne.

Jeremy Ward comes into the starting line-up as a replacement for Am while Curwin Bosch has rejoined his teammates Down Under after returning from a family bereavement.

The Springbok utility player is straight back into the starting side, while fellow Springbok Makazole Mapimpi has recovered from his concussion and is also back in the starting 15.

The Stormers have made four changes for their home encounter with the Jaguares, with Springbok tighthead prop Wilco Louw set to earn his 50th Super Rugby cap off the bench.

Fellow Springbok tighthead Frans Malherbe and JD Schickerling (lock) both come into the starting line-up after playing off the bench last week in Johannesburg, while Jaco Coetzee (flank) and Bok scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies return from minor injuries.

The Stormers will be looking to make it four straight wins this season in the clash with the Jaguares, who played in the Super Rugby final last year.

Jaco Visagie and Johnny Kotze will both run out for their 50th Super Rugby caps against the Blues on Saturday when the Bulls return to Loftus Versfeld for the first time this season.

Visagie made his tournament debut for the Bulls back in 2015, while Kotze made his debut in the colours of the Stormers in 2015 before moving to Pretoria.

The Bulls will be feeling the pressure as they are yet to register a win in 2020 but will take confidence from the fact that out of the nine matches played against the Blues at Loftus Versfeld, they have won six and drawn one.

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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