Promising 20-year-old prop Patric Cilliers will be back in action this weekend for the first time since tearing ligaments in his knee during the Currie Cup last year. The Michaelhouse old-boy will be on the bench for the Wildebeest as they take on the Lions in the Vodacom Cup this weekend.
Loose forward Jean Deysel is also back in the mix. Since the arrival of Tongan wrecking-ball Epi Taione, Deysel has been deemed surplus to the union’s Super 14 requirements, which is quite unlucky, since he really has made the most of the opportunities he’s had. Deysel will operate on the blind-side flank as part of a pacy loose trio that includes promising fetcher Skholiwe Ndlovu and and former u-21 eighthman Warren Whitely. Big Nik Blignaut moves into the second row to partner skipper Alistair Hargreaves and Deon Carstens is again named at loosehead. Robbie Harris and Skipper Badenhorst retain their places alongside the Springbok prop. Steven Sykes is not named, so we can expect him to feature in the Sharks 22 this week.
Scott Mathie gets a welcome start at 9 after what seems like an eternity on the sidelines, while young Tiaan Marx seems to have established himself as a regular at flyhalf. Andries Strauss is back at 12 (his best position) with Riaan Swanepoel outside him. The back three comprises Lwazi Mvovo and Henno Mentz on the wings, with Danie Dames at fullback.
The match is the curtain raiser to the Super 14 clash between the Sharks and the Reds and kick off in Durban at 14h30 on Saturday afternoon.
Here is the team:
15. Danie Dames, 14. Henno Mentz, 13. Riaan Swanepoel, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Tiaan Marx, 9. Scott Mathie, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Skholiwe Ndlovu, 5. Nikolai Blignaut, 4. Alistair Hargreaves (Capt), 3. Robbie Harris, 2. Skipper Badenhorst, 1. Deon Carstens
16. Jody Jenneker, 17. Patric Cilliers, 18. Schalk van Jaarsveld, 19. Michael Rhodes,20. Charl McLoed, 21. Luzuko Vulindlu, 22. Scott SpeddingTweet