Both sides have enjoyed a good start to this year’s competition and currently occupy positions two and four respectively on the standings, although the Durban side have a game in hand over their Irish opponents.

With the Springboks enjoying limited time with their Vodacom URC franchises, the Cell C Sharks coaching team has had a delicate balancing act reintegrating these senior players back into the team.

Some of the returning Springboks played off the bench in last week’s victory over Glasgow Warriors following their return from the Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign, and this week all of prop Ox Nche, hooker Bongi Mbonambi, Springbok captain and flanker Siya Kolisi, and wing Makazole Mapimpi will start in this crucial home game.

Nche comes in for fellow Bok prop Ntuthuko Mchunu, while Mbonambi swaps jerseys with Kerron van Vuuren, and Siya Kolisi takes over from Dylan Richardson amongst the changes in the forwards.

Mapimpi replaces Anthony Volmink in the final change to last week’s starting line-up. Saturday is Sharksfest at Hollywoodbets Kings Park with a host of entertainment planned for the entire family. The match kicks off at 18h15 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

Cell C Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Marnus Potgieter, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Thomas du Toit (captain), 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nché. Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 James Venter, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Cameron Wright, 23 Anthony Volmink.