Blitzboks Werner Kok and Muller du Plessis feature among the backs with new signing Manie Libbok as well as the experienced Curwin Bosch, Lukhanyo Am, Jeremy Ward, Marius Louw and JP Pietersen.

Bosch and Petersen are two of five Springboks in the Sharks’ squad – the other three are among the forwards: Ox Nche, Thomas du Toit and Sikhumbuzo Notshe.

Bosch admitted that he can’t wait to get stuck into rugby action again after such a long break and was also pleased with the quality of players that have joined the Sharks.

“It’s exciting times now, it’s been great to get back into training although the body is still getting used to contact, but we’re looking forward to finally getting back onto the pitch and throwing a rugby ball around,” said Bosch.

“Manie Libbok will slot in very well here with the style we play. The backs he will have around him will compliment his game. We’re looking forward to seeing what he can add.

“And we all know the type of player Werner Kok is. We are a team that pride ourselves in never giving up and going for the full 80-minutes and Werner is the kind of player who never backs off. He will add a lot of value with his work rate and work ethic off the ball.”

Bosch admits that a return to rugby means regaining momentum again and this is the opportunity to get started on building to a level where they left off in Super Rugby.

“It’s going to be tough for all of us, but it’s about starting with the basics once again,” he said.

“This weekend is the perfect opportunity to sharpen up on a few basics as well as things we’ve been working on over the past couple of weeks in preparation for a return to play.”

Kick-off for Saturday’s Bulls v Lions game is at 16:25.

Sharks 30-man squad: