Sharks unchanged for Bulls clash

The table topping Sharks take on the Bulls in a Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The table topping Sharks take on the Bulls in a Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - Sharks coach Jake White has named an unchanged side to face the Bulls in a Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

White has opted for continuity, naming the same 15 that started against the Queensland Reds last weekend.

White did however make two changes to his bench, bringing Tim Swiel and Andre Esterhuizen into the match day squad.

The Sharks have started the season in blistering form, with White's men marching to the top of the Super Rugby standings with a perfect record from their opening four games.

The 51-year-old World Cup winning coach, however, is well aware of the magnitude of the task facing his side in Pretoria this weekend.

"This is a huge game, it's at Loftus and the Bulls have an unbelievable record at that stadium and they've won the championship three times, so we're under no false illusions that this isn't going to be a tough away fixture for us. It's a derby game as well and we know it's going to be big."

Decorated winger JP Pietersen, who made his debut for the Durban franchise in 2006, will play his 100th Super Rugby game this weekend.

White was full of praise for Pietersen, who has scored 33 Super Rugby tries for the Sharks so far.

"It is a big achievement for a guy that plays 100 times for his franchise. I have no doubt that it's not only what he brings on the field, but also what he brings to the rest of the group off the field. I'm sure it will be a special occasion for him. I have no doubt JP, being as popular a player as he is to this group, a lot of the players will want to do well for him as well."

SHARKS TEAM:

SP Marais, JP Pietersen, S'bura Sithole, Frans Steyn, Lwazi Mvovo, Patrick Lambie, Cobus Reinach, Ryan Kankowski, Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Stephan Lewies, Anton Bresler, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis (C), Tendai Mtawarira.

REPLACEMENTS:

Kyle Cooper, Dale Chadwick, Lourens Adriaanse, Etienne Oosthuizen, Tera Mtembu, Charl McLeod, Tim Swiel, Andre Esterhuizen.