Mvovo to earn 100th Super Rugby cap in Brisbane

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 22 Feb 2017 at 10:17
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

Pat Lambie leads a strong Sharks line-up in Friday morning’s Super Rugby opener against the Reds in Brisbane. Veteran winger Lwazi Mvovo, named to start in his favoured number 11 jersey, reaches an important personal milestone, celebrating 100 appearances in the competition.

Rob du Preez has tinkered very little with the shadow starting team that featured for him in two warm-up games to date, an indication that his thinking in terms of selection has been pretty clear for a number of weeks. Lambie is joined by Cobus Reinach amongst the half backs, with Andre Esterhuizen and Lukhanyo Am re-uniting as a centre partnership after playing together for most of last year’s Currie Cup. Am is uncapped for the Sharks at this level, but boasts ten career caps in the colours of the Kings, for whom he played on a loan basis in 2016. Mvovo’s wing-mate is Kobus van Wyk, a newcomer who also makes his debut for the Sharks in this competition, despite having played 30 times for the Stormers (scoring nine tries).

Curwin Bosch completes a young backline. He represented the Sharks three times in Super Rugby towards the tail end of last year, but at only 19 is still very new to this level of the game.

Up front, Beast Mtawarira is an obvious pick at loosehead, while du Preez has backed Franco Marais over Chiliboy Ralepelle as starting hooker and – perhaps unexpectedly – Coenie Oosthuizen over Lourens Adriaanse at tighthead. Oosthuizen appears to be in great shape this year and has been in superb form during pre-season, so the Sharks will be expecting big things from him in 2017. Ruan Botha and Etienne Oosthuizen combine as the locks, while Philip van der Walt starts at open side flank, with Jean-Luc du Preez on the other side. Number 8 Tera Mtembu has been appointed vice captain.

Thomas du Toit joins Ralepelle and Adriaanse on the bench as front-row replacements, with Stephan Lewies set to make his return from a pre-season injury in the number 19 jersey. Newcomer Jacques Vermeulen is set for his competition debut as the loose forward reserve.

Among the backs, Michael Claassens cover scrumhalf, with Clément Poitrenaud and Jermey Ward offering “something old and something new” alongside him. Somewhat paradoxically, it is Ward who boasts caps in the competition (2 for the Kings last year), but with 49 tests matches to his credit, there’s no doubt that the Frenchman is the more experienced of the pair overall.

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (capt), 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu (vice capt), 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Clément Poitrenaud


  • Coenie must have really impressed during training. Looking forward to seeing what happens in the scrums.

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.02.17 10:21:02 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Firstly congrats to Mvovo- really a great milestone and wish him all the best. Then the team is pretty much as expected, although i did perhaps think Adriaanse would start but i do see big value in that strong front row we have coming off the bench. Hoping the guys hit the ground running and have a full go…it wont be easy

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.02.17 10:27:09 by SheldonK Reply

  • Really excited to see what this team can do this year. On paper looking very good!

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.02.17 10:39:43 by T-Shark Reply

  • Hoping we can compete on the ground against George Smith. The lack of a genuine openside is the only weakness in the Sharks squad.

    Very strong 23 we’ve chosen and I think we have the firepower, flair and tactical acumen to beat the Reds. It’s going to be a great game!!! Bring on Friday already!

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.02.17 10:41:50 by ChrisS Reply
  • That is a great bench to have! I am cautiously optimistic…build, play good rugby and win or lose its looking like a great foundation team

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.02.17 10:46:33 by Sharkfinn Reply

  • Good team, any of the bench players could have justified a start,Super rugby is a 23 man game,

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.02.17 10:46:43 by The hound Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 4) : I hope Phillip gets stuck in. We can’t afford 2 people being no.8 and nobody making a nuisance of themselves.

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.02.17 10:50:08 by Southern_Shark Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : One can only hope hey. I got more than a little frustrated at him last year for the amount of penalties he conceded.

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.02.17 10:55:00 by boertjie101 Reply

  • @Southern_Shark (Comment 7) : Can’t imagine that being a problem. Phillip is everywhere and he never seems to get tired, he will definitely make life difficult for the Red’d loosies. Very good looking team! Really looking forward to Friday afternoon when I will be able to see the game for the first time ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyone else tempted to call in sick on Friday? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.02.17 10:56:30 by HeinF Reply

  • I guess it does make sense starting with Coenie, he is a lot more involved in both the tight/loose as well as open play than Lourens, plus Louren’s superior scrumming skills will be more valuable during the closing stages of the game.

    Also congrats to Mvovo!

  • Comment 10, posted at 22.02.17 10:56:50 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @ChrisS (Comment 4) : How we miss Coetzee now. The absence of Keegan will also be felt.

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.02.17 10:57:18 by boertjie101 Reply

  • @boertjie101 (Comment 11) : I’m hoping that Vd Walt will do the job for us or that we have a strategy to offload more and prevent the ball from being on the deck too much. If it’s not on the ground for long then Smith’s chances of stealing it are reduced.

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.02.17 11:25:02 by ChrisS Reply
  • Jean -Luc is going to make Smith feel every one of his 36 years,
    I have memories of Bakkies coming out of a maul with a huge smile on his face and one of Smith’s dreadlocks in his hand.

  • Comment 13, posted at 22.02.17 11:32:21 by The hound Reply
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  • @HeinF (Comment 9) : Luckily you don’t have to call in sick if you are the boss ๐Ÿ˜†

    @KingRiaan (Comment 10) : Agreed on Lourens,all in all that bench will help later on in the match!

    @ChrisS (Comment 12) : I think Phillip will remind us why the Sharks brought him in, he’ll do just fine I reckon. I’m hoping for Tera to have a blinder in the absence of KD as well! We need that link-up play between the forwards and the backs, KD was excellent with that, hope he can produce something similar.

  • Comment 14, posted at 22.02.17 11:34:21 by Quintin Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 13) : Yeah, I am sure I read somewhere back in the day that the Boks had a dare in place where you won some cash if you could show one of his dreads after the game.

  • Comment 15, posted at 22.02.17 11:43:15 by KingRiaan Reply

  • This is a very decent team. Bring on Friday! Also, congrats Mvovs! Top stuff.

  • Comment 16, posted at 22.02.17 12:04:11 by Another Nick Reply

    Another Nick
  • @KingRiaan (Comment 15) : Testimony to the man, that you refer to him as ”Back in the day” and he is still playing.
    Great player in the Phil Waugh mode.

  • Comment 17, posted at 22.02.17 12:11:37 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 17) : Didnt Smith retire for a brief stint and then made a comeback? I sortof recall that.

  • Comment 18, posted at 22.02.17 12:14:13 by SheldonK Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 17) : Yeah, he is a legend. And back in the day for me was circa 2002 haha

  • Comment 19, posted at 22.02.17 12:14:41 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 18) : Only players of his era still playing must be Burger,Jean Smith and Dan Carter.

  • Comment 20, posted at 22.02.17 12:30:16 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 20) : Was actually thinking that after i typed my comment. I know there are guys still playing that played in 2007 RWC…but what about guys that played in 2003 RWC? I know Burger is one

  • Comment 21, posted at 22.02.17 12:38:34 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 21) : Burger and Juan Smith,Carter,Nonu and Joe Rockokoko,Ithink he is still playing.
    Giteau and Smith.

  • Comment 22, posted at 22.02.17 12:49:45 by The hound Reply
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  • @HeinF (Comment 9) : No but recording the game and avoiding all websites and radios the whole day. Not gonna be easy!

  • Comment 23, posted at 22.02.17 12:49:55 by Hulk Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 22) : Thats quite a length of time to be playing top flight rugby….so not surprised to see the names of some of the best players to have played in modern era.

  • Comment 24, posted at 22.02.17 13:00:56 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 24) : The two that surprised me are Giteau and Nonu,never realized they’d been around that long.

  • Comment 25, posted at 22.02.17 13:06:24 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 25) : Yes Nonu especially

  • Comment 26, posted at 22.02.17 13:08:48 by SheldonK Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 25) : Granted Australia completely wasted Giteau. Such a good player should never have been allowed to not play international rugby. It’s a crying shame his international career was cut so short.

  • Comment 27, posted at 22.02.17 13:16:21 by Hulk Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 24) : @The hound (Comment 25) : Rockokoko still playing for Racing 92 with Carter

  • Comment 28, posted at 22.02.17 13:23:19 by Henkb Reply
  • @Hulk (Comment 27) : Giteau reminds me so much of Brent Russel, another wasted talent on the international scene.

  • Comment 29, posted at 22.02.17 15:41:28 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 29) : Think its a case of him not knowing his best position and being accommodated at either 9, 10 or 12…

  • Comment 30, posted at 22.02.17 15:49:25 by SheldonK Reply

  • Giteau made his debut for the ACT Brumbies in 2001 and the Wallabies in 2002. During this time he won two Super Rugby titles with the Brumbies in the 2001 Super 12 season and the 2004 Super 12 season and was a part of the Wallabies at the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
    He’s still playing can’t see how you can possibly call that a waste of talent.

  • Comment 31, posted at 22.02.17 16:06:05 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 31) : I was referring to Russel as the wasted talent

  • Comment 32, posted at 22.02.17 16:19:57 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 32) : Agree

  • Comment 33, posted at 22.02.17 16:27:32 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 31) : Waste of talent in not playing international rugby I feel.

  • Comment 34, posted at 22.02.17 16:30:13 by Hulk Reply

  • Strong side!!!
    Go Sharks!!!

  • Comment 35, posted at 22.02.17 17:38:30 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • And so it starts again. I must say, I did not realise the Reds had bought in so many players. I was expecting a comfortable Sharks win, but looking at the Reds side, I do not think this is going to be an easy game at all. Should be a cracker.

  • Comment 36, posted at 23.02.17 10:09:25 by Vonno13 Reply
  • @KingRiaan (Comment 32) : @The hound (Comment 33) : Did Brent not come across a bit timid at times? He started like a house on fire, but he seemed to get scared towards the end – was not very keen on any contact? I feel that the Loftus game in 2003 buggered him up mentally, against the AB, they targeted him.

  • Comment 37, posted at 23.02.17 10:11:15 by Vonno13 Reply

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