Sean Everitt has named his Sharks XV squad to battle the Border Bulldogs at ABSA Stadium Durban on Friday evening. Entrance to the ground is free and kick-off is at 18h00.
The team doesn’t differ much from the probable lineup we posted a few days ago. Anton Bresler comes in for Jandre Marais in the somewhat unfamiliar number 4 jersey, where he will partner Springbok Alistair Hargreaves in the second row. In the other change to our anticipated lineup, Louis Ludik will start at fullback, with Chris Jordaan covering the back three off the bench.
The team boasts a good blend of Currie Cup stalwarts and youngsters, with last year’s impressive under 21 side providing 9 of the match 22. There is a smattering of Super 14 experience as well, with captain Andries Strauss boasting the most caps. Pat Cilliers, Hargreaves, Charl McLeod, Monty Dumond, Luzuko Vulindlu, Ross Cronjé, Skollie Ndlovu and Jordaan have all represented the Sharks in Super rugby in the past, while Wiehahn Herbst, Justin Downey and Mike Rhodes have a smattering of Currie Cup caps between them.
Ludik and outside centre Jean Stemmet are the only newcomers to Sharks rugby in the side and much will be expected of them in terms of attacking backline play. There is plenty of depth in the wider squad as well, so the pressure will be on these players to perform well and force the coach’s hand in terms of selection for the rest of the competition.
Look out for winger Mark Richards and reserve centre Jerome “Trompie” Pretorius, both of whom are bound to be full of running.
Sharks XV (* denotes 2009 u/21 player)
15 Louis Ludik, 14 Mark Richards*, 13 Jean Stemmet, 12 Andries Strauss (capt) , 11 Luzuko Vulindlu, 10 Monty Dumond, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Luvuyiso Lusaseni*, 7 Lambert Groenewald*, 6 Justin Downey, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Anton Bresler*, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper*, 1 Pat Cilliers
16 Hannes Snyman*, 17 Sabz Nhlapo*, 18 Mike Rhodes, 19 Skollie Ndlovu, 20 Ross Cronjé*, 21 Jerome Pretorius*, 22 Chris Jordaan