A number of fringe Super Rugby squad members will take the field, together with the cream of the Sharks young brigade, when two Sharks XV selections play in a curtain raiser to Saturday’s Super Rugby clash at Growthpoint Kings Park.
All 46 players will go out of their way not only to impress Vodacom Cup coaches Deon Kayser and Albert van den Berg, but also to prove to Jake White that they deserve to feature in his Super Rugby plans going forward. What’s more, the talent on display points to an incredibly strong Sharks XV challenge for this year’s Vodacom cup trophy, as players ranging all the way from the 18-year-old Daniel du Preez to the 34-year-old Marco Wentzel will look to make their mark.
The Tiger Sharks XV looks to be the shadow Vodacom Cup side at this side, with the likes of Andre Esterhuizen and Tim Whitehead in midfield, Fred Zeilinga at flyhalf and Peet Marais, Wiehahn Herbst and Monde Hadebe up front. Sean Robinson, who played some Super Rugby last year, is at fullback, with Sizo Maseko returning from last year’s Currie Cup squad to operate at right wing. Alcino Isaacs and Stefan Ungerer compete the backline, while a young loose trio of Khaya Majola, Franna Kleinhans (at blindside) and Johann Meyer looks powerful enough. Edwin Hewitt is another Currie Cup player included, while one of the forgotten men of Sharks rugby, Sangoni “Mox” Mxoli packs down at loosehead prop. A strong bench boasts Tim Swiel and Wentzel, along with fellow senior-capped players in Franco Marais and Danie Mienie.
The Bull Sharks, in contrast, are a young side, drawn mostly from last year’s Sharks under 19 team (with a smattering of completely new faces from this year’s Academy intake). Hansie Graaff will pull the strings at flyhalf, alongside Duncan Campbell, starting for the first time at scrumhalf. Keep an eye out for young props Thomas du Toit and Ruan Kramer, as well as the du Preez twins Daniel (starting) and Jean-Luc (on the bench).
The match kicks off at 15h00 on Saturday.
15 Sean Robinson, 14 Sizo Maseko, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Alcino Isaacs, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Johann Meyer, 7 Francois Kleinhans, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Edwin Hewitt, 4 Peet Marais, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Monde Hadebe, 1 Mox Mxoli
16 Franco Marais, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Marco Wentzel, 19 Barend Potgieter, 20 Hanco Venter, 21 Tim Swiel, 22 Keelin Bastew, 23 Khwezi Mona
15 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 14 Michael Cloete, 13 Neil Maritz, 12 Sandile Khubeka, 11 Alrin Eksteen, 10 Hansie Graaff, 9 Duncan Campbell, 8 Sias Koen, 7 Lungi Mlaba, 6 Dylan Nel, 5 Daniel du Preez, 4 Dave Fisher, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 Jacques Taylor, 1 Thomas du Toit
16 Chris de Beer, 17 Brandon Landsberg, 18 Jean-Luc du Preez, 19 JP Grobler, 20 Shannon Rick, 21 Quentin Crocker, 22 Kyle Wilkinson, 23 Deucullen van der Merwe/Richard Strydom