Last year’s first-choice tighthead for the Sharks under 21 side, Nick Schonert, will be in the starting line-up for Shimlas this evening as they take on Varsity cup newcomers, Wits.
Schonert, who came up through the ranks in Durban and also played for the South African under 20 side, had been tipped by many to go all the way and become the latest name in a succession of strong number 3s produced by the Sharks Academy for the senior side; however, a glut of talent in the position saw Schonert surprisingly not given a senior contract for 2013, hence his decision to seek pastures new.
We understand that he will play for Shimlas in the Varsity Cup this season, before linking up with Griquas for the remainder of the season.
Packing down on the other side will be Schalk “Hond” van der Merwe, who played a few games for the Cheetahs Currie Cup side last year. Look out for Neill Jordaan at number 8 – he’s a guy who turned down the opportunity to join the Sharks in 2011, despite being offered an Academy bursary while he was in matric at Grey College.
Shimlas team: 15 Marco Mason, 14 Maphutha Dolo, 13 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 12 Reinhardt Erwee, 11 JJ de Klerk, 10 Franna du Toit, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Freddie Ngoza, 6 Tyron Schultz, 5 JC Astle, 4 Oupa Mohoje (capt), 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Wickus Deysel, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Fanie van der Walt, 19 Erik le Roux, 20 Kay-Kay Hlongwane, 21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 Divandré Strydom, 23 Carl van Heerden.