Springbok prop Thomas du Toit will be tasked with ensuring the Sharks get in the game way quicker than they did last weekend after being handed the captaincy for their United Rugby Championship match against Ospreys in Swansea on Friday night.
Coach Sean Everitt was quick to add that regular captain Phepsi Buthelezi was merely having a bit of a breather on the bench and would be back in the starting line-up next weekend.
The Sharks were horribly unfocused at the start of their match against Glasgow Warriors last week, trailing 19-0 in the first quarter, before dominating thereafter to lose 35-24.
Everitt believed Du Toit had the credentials to ensure that did not happen again.
“Thomas is full of confidence and playing his best rugby at the moment. He is a leader and he is certainly leading by performance at the moment,” Everitt said.
“The more he plays, the better he gets, and he was outstanding against Glasgow. His game has grown a lot lately.”
The Sharks team announced on Wednesday shows plenty of rotational changes and, up front, tighthead Du Toit and blindside flank Gerbrandt Grobler were the only players to hold on to the same jersey, while in the backline, halfbacks Ruan Pienaar and Boeta Chamberlain and exciting wing Thaakir Abrahams are the only players still in the starting line-up from last weekend.
“We wanted to freshen up the group,” Everitt said.
“The changes don’t weaken the team – they are there to strengthen it – and Murray Koster, Fez Mbatha and Yaw Penxe are carrying injuries.”