Sharks aim for double over Lions in key derby clash

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Sharks coach Robert du Preez has made four changes to his starting line-up to face the Lions in Durban on Saturday, as the KwaZulu-Natal side aim for the double over their Gauteng rivals.

Mzamo Majola comes in for Thomas du Toit, while Ruben van Heerden is back after missing the Chiefs match and will now partner Ruan Botha at lock.

Dan du Preez also returns at No 8, with Philip van der Walt moving to flank. The only change in the backline sees Springbok centre, André Esterhuizen replace Marius Louw. Coach Du Preez says he is particularly excited for 24-year-old prop Majola.

After an encouraging tour to Australasia where the Sharks lost just once against the Chiefs, Du Preez is hoping his side can now kick on in front of their home support.

Springbok flyhalf, Curwin Bosch was one of the standout players on tour and Du Preez says he expects him to continue his good form.

The Sharks are fourth on a congested South African log, three points behind the Bulls. With four games to go they are still very much in contention to reach the play-offs.

Captain Louis Schreuder knows that a win against the Lions will push them above the Joburg outfit who are third, but says they are not thinking too much about the table at the moment.

Two hard fought wins over the Waratahs and the Highlanders means the Lions will arrive at Kings Park with huge momentum.

They will also have a score to settle against the Sharks after they conceded 40 points against the Durban side at home last month. Schreuder shared his opinion on them here. – Report by Thahir Asmal