Sharks under 19 coach Etienne Fynn has made two changes to his back-line, as his side prepares to face Western Province tomorrow night in a match that is critical to their semi-final aspirations. It’s probably fair to say that after last weekend’s agonising loss to the Lions, the Province game simply cannot be lost if the Sharks want to progress in this competition.
Right wing Kotaro Matsushima, who has started all nine of the side’s previous games, has been forced out this week due to a knee injury, with Mike Bernardt coming in to replace him in the number 14 jersey. Takudzwa Chieza from Zimbabwe replaces compatriot Gareth Meikle in the number 12 shirt as the only other change to the run-on side.
Both starting pack and forward replacements are unchanged, but the reshuffle in the line has prompted some changes among the back-line reserves too. Scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer makes a welcome return to the squad this week after being out injured for nearly a month and his introduction in the number 20 shirt sees Brendan Cope shift one place along. With both Bernardt and Chieza (who were on the bench last week) now promoted, a spot has opened up for Sphu Msutwana to come back into the match 23.
Sharks Under 19s
15. Sean Robinson, 14. Michael Bernardt, 13. Tyler Fisher, 12. Takudzwa Chieza, 11. Alcino Izaacs, 10. Robert du Preez (Capt), 9. Cameron Wright, 8. Jean Pretorius, 7. Andrew van Tonder, 6. Francois van der Vyver, 5. Myles Tucker, 4. Gideon Koegelenberg, 3. Marne Coetzee, 2. Morne du Plessis, 1. Nicolas Roebeck
16. Warrick Venter, 17. John-Hubert Meyer, 18. Louis Hazelhurst, 19. Theo Kruger, 20. Stefan Ungerer, 21. Brendan Cope, 22. Sphu Msutwana, 23. Matthew Jones