Currie Cup

Boks back to boost high-flying Sharks

2017-09-21 10:10
Chiliboy Ralepelle (Gallo Images)

Durban - The Sharks will host the Blue Bulls at Kings Park on Saturday having been boosted by the return of a couple of Springboks.

Flank Daniel du Preez returns to the side as does hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle, with head coach Robert du Preez bolstering his side for what is expected to be a hugely physical, confrontational match against a Blue Bulls team currently languishing in second last spot on the log, but intent on changing that.

Sbu Nkosi will be looking to show the national selectors just why they have shown faith in him after being included in the Springbok squad for the two remaining home matches of the 2017 Rugby Championship.

The 21-year-old former junior Springbok is currently the joint top try scorer in the Currie Cup and will no doubt play with a spring in his step following the good news.

There is just one change to the backline with Louis Schreuder granted leave to attend a family event as Michael Claassens replaces him at scrumhalf.

There are also four changes in the pack.

Daniel du Preez replaces Tera Mtembu at eighthman while Jacques Vermeulen returns to the side at flank, which means Tyler Paul moves to lock in place of Jean Droste. There are two changes in the front row with Thomas du Toit back in the starting team after playing off the bench last week, swapping jerseys with Juan Schoeman, while Chiliboy Ralepelle comes in for Franco Marais at hooker.

Although the mood in the camp is good following eight successive victories, Marais admits that the team are keeping their feet firmly on the ground.

"It’s not too difficult to stay grounded," he said.

"The Currie Cup is a tough competition, there are seven tough teams, there aren’t weaker sides like last year, so every game is a new challenge.

"It’s great to be back in Durban to be playing at Kings Park after sucking oxygen for 80 minutes in Kimberley last week.

"They have quite an expansive game-plan, they run from kick-offs, from everywhere, so it’s going to be a challenge, but the Bulls always rely on their strong, dominant forwards, so we as a forward pack know the match is going to be very physical."

Teams:

Sharks

15 Garth April, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Sbu Nkosi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit

Substitutes: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Jean Droste, 19 Tera Mtembu, 20 Cameron Wright, 21 Tristan Blewett, 22 Rhyno Smith 

Blue Bulls

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Burger Odendaal (captain), 12 JT Jackson, 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Jano Venter, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Nic de Jager, 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Pierre Schoeman

Substitutes: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Matthys Basson, 18 Tim Agaba, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Handre Pollard, 22 Ulrich Beyers

Read more on:    sharks  |  currie cup  |  durban  |  rugby
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