Head coaches Sean Everitt and Pote Human have named their sides for this weekend’s Super Rugby clash between the Sharks and the Bulls in Durban on Friday.
The Sharks team closely resembles the starting line-up that took on the Stormers in the Superhero Sunday pre-season warm-up match with a number of players set to make their official debut in the black and white jersey.
Making their run-on debuts are three forwards – loosehead prop Ox Nche, flank James Venter and No.8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe who all made the move to Durban late last year.
Le Roux Roets (lock) and Henco Venter (loose forward) – also new signings – together with local talents who performed in last year’s Currie Cup, scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba and flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain, will play off the bench.
Lukhanyo Am will lead the team from the midfield.
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In contrast to the Sharks’ slew of debutants, Human has elected to start 35-year-old Super Rugby centurion Morne Steyn in the Bulls 10 jersey.
Steyn last played for the Pretoria outfit in 2013, and is the only three-time Super Rugby champion that remains within the South African circuit.
Steyn is joined by two 2019 World Cup winners in fullback Warrick Gelant and prop Trevor Nyakane.
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Nyakane, who tore his calf muscle in the opening World Cup match against New Zealand, will play off the bench in Durban, with Wiehahn Herbst handed the starting tighthead berth.
Also included in the squad are Scottish No.8 Josh Strauss, flank Jeandré Rudolph, lock Andries Ferreira and replacement loose forward Wian Vosloo – who will be running out for their first cap for the Bulls – while replacement lock Ryno Pieterse will make his Super Rugby debut off the bench.
The rest of the team includes four Springboks in scrumhalves Ivan van Zyl and Embrose Papier, with Cornal Hendricks on the wing and lock Juandré Kruger adding some grunt to the engine room
Human has also opted for six forwards and just two backs on the bench – a formula used to great effect by the Springboks during their successful World Cup campaign last year.
“We have enjoyed a strong pre-season, with few injuries, which has allowed us to select our strongest available team to take on a well-oiled Sharks outfit,” said Human.
Sharks: Aphelele Fassi, Sibusiso Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am (c), Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi, Curwin Bosch, Louis Schreuder, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Tyler Paul, James Venter, Hyron Andrews, Ruben van Heerden, Thomas du Toit, Kerron van Vuuren, Ox Niche.
Reserves: Craig Burden, Juan Schoeman, John-Hubert Meyer, Le Roux Roets, Henco Venter, Sanele Nohamba, Boeta Chamberlain, Jeremy Ward.
Bulls: Warrick Gelant, Cornal Hendricks, Johnny Kotze, Burger Odendaal (c), Rosko Specman, Morné Steyn, Ivan van Zyl, Josh Strauss, Abongile Nonkontwana, Jeandré Rudolph, Juandré Kruger, Andries Ferreira, Wiehahn Herbst, Jaco Visagie, Lizo Gqoboka. Reserves: Johan Grobbelaar, Simphiwe Matanzima, Trevor Nyakane, Ruan Nortje, Ryno Pieterse, Wian Vosloo, Embrose Papier, Manie Libbok.
– with Rugby365
Jacques Nienaber has been appointed the new Springboks coach for 2020:
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