With international rugby returning to South Africa following only local derbies that came after the four SA franchises toured Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy in the early rounds, the Welsh outfit will be faced with weather challenges alongside a confident Cell C Sharks team that has started building quality momentum in the competition of late.

Although the Durbanites' team closely resembles that which earned the bonus point victory over Benetton in the most recent Vodacom URC clash, the absence of regular captain Lukhanyo Am opens the door for a new leader.

Cell C Sharks head coach Sean Everitt has made just three changes to his team, with Jeremy Ward coming in for Am at outside centre and although losing the captain is a big blow, it is offset by the leadership role handed to Springbok captain Kolisi.

“It’s a huge boost having Siya as captain, although it doesn’t really change much because he’s been playing a leadership role since he arrived at the Sharks,” explained fellow Springbok Sbu Nkosi.

“He’s been very positive and very involved and I don’t think it will be a major shift for us because he’s been bringing that same energy all the time. The only thing that changes now is that he has the authority that comes with the title of captain.”

The other two changes come in the pack where Reniel Hugo replaces Ruben van Heerden in the second row and No 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Phepsi Buthelezi switch positions this week.

Friday night’s match kicks off at 19h10 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

Cell C Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nché. Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, 23 Werner Kok.