Ospreys vs Sharks: Sean Everitt’s charges are in Wales on Friday night for an almighty challenge.
Ospreys vs Sharks LIVE scores
Ospreys vs Sharks preview
The Sharks will be led by Springbok prop Thomas du Toit with regular skipper Phepsi Buthelezi moved to the bench for this encounter but the returns in the Ospreys squad have grabbed all the headlines.
Legendary Wales and Lions lock Alun Wyn Jones returns to the teams starting lineup after enjoying a brief break along with the other Lions tourists.
It has been a trying time so far for all and Sharks skills coach Phiwe Nomlomo admitted that playing three different teams from three different countries in successive weeks demands adaptations to counter the different styles of each side.
“Just last week, we were playing against internationals in almost every single position and look at our guys, many of them only 22 or 23, so we were up against a side that have done this before, they’ve travelled all around the world,” he explained.
He said Ospreys will test the Sharks in different areas from the opening two matches.
“Ospreys play close to the style of Wales; they are a massive kicking side that likes to maul. They’re very defence orientated and will try and stifle your play and box you in your own 22 and make it as hard as possible for you to get out.”
The Ospreys have not kicked off a campaign with three straight victories since the 2016-17 season but they have the opportunity to do just that this weekend. They will have to turn around a losing streak against SA teams, having lost to both the Kings and Cheetahs in November 2019.
Ospreys coach Toby Booth believes that the Sharks will try to match his team up front with Everitt having named a huge pack.
“Having seen the Sharks selection, we know they are big and there are four second rows in that starting line-up.
“There was a lot of forward-orientated stuff in our performance against Cardiff and that has clearly been thought of.
“We know they are going to be physical and will have a good kicking game. It will be a different challenge and an exciting one because we are playing someone new.”
Teams: Ospreys vs Sharks
Ospreys: Dan Evans, Mat Protheroe, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, Owen Watkin, Luke Morgan, Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Webb (captain), Nicky Smith, Sam Parry, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Will Griffiths, Jac Morgan, Morgan Morris.
Replacements: Elvis Taione, Gareth Thomas, Tom Botha, Rhys Davies, Ethan Roots, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Stephen Myler, Joe Hawkins.
Cell C Sharks: Anthony Volmink, Marnus Potgieter, Jeremy Ward, Marius Louw, Thaakir Abrahams, Boeta Chamberlain, Ruan Pienaar; Ntuthuko Mchunu, Kerron van Vuuren, Thomas du Toit (captain), Ruben van Heerden, Hyron Andrews, James Venter, Gerbrandt Grobler, Henco Venter.
Replacements: Dan Jooste, Khwezi Mona, Lourens Adriaanse, Le Roux Roets, Phepsi Buthelezi, Dylan Richardson, Sanele Nohamba, Werner Kok.
MATCH INFORMATION, KICK-OFF TIMES, TV DETAILS, LIVE STREAM
Ospreys vs Sharks
Date: Friday, 8 October
Venue: Swansea.com Stadium, Swansea (Wales)
SA Time: 20h35
Referee: Frank Murphy
AR 1: Craig Evens (WRU) AR 2: Carwyn Williams (WRU),
TMO: Leo Colgan (IRFU)
TV: SuperSport Grandstand
Stream: DStv Now