A number of Sharks fringe players have been included in Sean Everitt’s Sharks XV side to take on the EP Mighty Elephants in the Vodacom Cup on Friday night. Having now lost twice away from home, this match is a must-win for the Fifteen if they hope to finish in the top two and claim home-ground advantage for the quarter-finals.
Perhaps the most interesting selection is that of Bok centre Waylon Murray in the right wing position. Murray has looked out of sorts playing at outside centre in the Super 14 and recently lost his place in the squad to Andries Strauss. A big, powerful runner, Murray could make a very dangerous wing and perhaps an extended spell with the Sharks XV is just what he needs to get his confidence back. Lwazi Mvovo, another player who has been on the fringes of Sharks selection (and spent five frustrating weeks carrying tackle-bags on tour with them) will finally play a bit of rugby as he is named on the left wing.
Up-front, another player desperately in need of game-time, Craig Burden, slots in at hooker, while promising tighthead Wiehahn Herbst will get one more chance to show what he can do before (hopefully) making his Super 14 debut against the Lions next week. The balance of the pack is unchanged, while the only other change in the backline comes at inside centre, where Jerome Pretorius starts in Strauss’s place. Pat Cilliers will captain the side from the number 1 jersey (rapidly becoming a trend in Sharks land!)
A number of stalwarts are unfortunate to lose out this week; Mark Richards will be on the bench, along with Kyle Cooper and Julian Redelinghuys. Sbu Sithole, who has played wing for the last two weeks, will be attending an SA Under 20 training camp and was thus not available for selection.
The match takes place at the EPRU Stadium and kicks off at 7pm on Friday 9 April.
15 Chris Jordaan, 14 Waylon Murray, 13 Jean Stemmet, 12 Jerome Pretorius, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Monty Dumond, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Luvo Lusaseni, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Skollie Ndlovu, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Jandre Marais, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Pat Cilliers (capt)
16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Julian Redelinghuys, 18 Mike Rhodes, 19 Lambert Groenewald, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Jacques Venter, 22 Mark Richards