Sean Everitt’s Sharks under 21 side will get their second round of matches underway this weekend when they take on the Free State cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
Injuries to open-side flankers Chris Cloete (knee) and Khaya Majola (shoulder), coupled with a senior side call-up for Francois Kleinhans have left the team scrabbling for an option in the number 6 shirt. Some quick phone calls during the bye weekend seem to have done the trick, though, with former Grey College flanker Murray Bondesio making a quick trip down the N3 from Pretoria, where he’s spent the last year playing age group rugby for the Blue Bulls.
Bondesio, who we believe is not related to the Lions scrumhalf of the same name, comes straight into the starting lineup in place of Majola, while an unforced change sees Guy Alexander start at number 8 for the first time this year. Braam Steyn will be on the bench this week, covering both the second and third rows, while Duane Coertzem, who’s really a hooker, will also serve as a makeshift flank if required.
The only change to an otherwise settled backline sees Wandi Mjekevu swap places with schoolmate Jared Meyer and come back into the starting lineup, outside captain Heimar Williams.
15. Jaco van Tonder, 14. Piet Lindeque, 13. Wandile Mjekevu, 12. Heimar Williams (Capt), 11. Sizo Maseko, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Hanco Venter, 8. Guy Alexander, 7. Brendon Groenewald, 6. Murray Bondesio, 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Wade Elliott, 3. Nick Schonert, 2. Franco Marais, 1. Danie Mienie
16. Allan Dell, 17. Nicolaas van Dyk, 18. Braam Steyn, 19. Duan Coertzen, 20. Gavin Hauptfleisch, 21. Jared Meyer, 22. Keelin Bastew