Injuries force White into backline reshuffle

The Durban-based franchise face the Highlanders at Kings Park in Durban on Friday.

The Sharks take on the Highlanders at Kings Park on Friday. Picture: Sharks official website.

CAPE TOWN - Sharks forward Keegan Daniel will make his 100th Super Rugby appearance for the Sharks on Friday.

The Durban-based franchise face the Highlanders at Kings Park in Durban on Friday.

Daniel, who made his Sharks debut in 2006, will take up his position in the loose trio as part of an unchanged forward pack.

Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White had to make injury-enforced changes to his backline, but welcomes back two players.

Injury-plagued winger Tonderai Chavhanga is unavailable due to a hamstring strain suffered in last week's 19-8 win over the Cheetahs.

Odwa Ndungane's shoulder injury has necessitated a reshuffling of the backline.

Paul Jordaan returns to outside centre, with S'bura Sithole moving to wing.

JP Pietersen has recovered from injury and is able to line up on the right wing.

The rest of the squad remains unchanged, with Tim Swiel getting another go at flyhalf after making his first start last week.

The Highlanders arrive in Durban after enjoying a week off.

White says time will tell whether the New Zealanders will benefit from the break or find that it disrupts them.

"There are two ways of looking at it. One, you're rusty because you didn't play the week before or two, you've had two weeks to prepare yourself and freshen up mentally.

"I don't think you can ever work out, in theory, if you have a rest you're better or you lose your momentum. The challenge for us is to focus on getting a result."

White believes the clash against eighth-placed Highlanders will be a good challenge for his side, serving as ideal preparation for the Sharks' gruelling tour schedule.

After Friday's game, the Sharks head to Australia and New Zealand for their next four matches.

"The challenge for us is to focus on getting a result against the Highlanders. We go away the next day, it's our last home game for a long while. We have to keep the momentum going, whether it's the Highlanders here or the Rebels the following week."

Despite the Highlander's comparatively low log position, White knows the danger their players possess.

"New Zealand rugby has always been strong. They are a good team, they have some good players. Ben Smith and Aaron Smith are probably the two form players in New Zealand and have been for the last couple of seasons, not just this year."

Sharks team to face the Highlanders: Lwazi Mvovo, JP Pietersen, Paul Jordaan, Frans Steyn, S'bura Sithole, Tim Swiel, Charl McLeod, Keegan Daniel, Jean Deysel, Marcell Coetzee, Stephan Lewies, Willem Alberts, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: Kyle Cooper, Dale Chadwick, Lourens Adriaanse, Etienne Oosthuizen, Ryan Kankowski, Stefan Ungerer, Heimar Williams, SP Marais.