Durban - A few Springboks who started off the bench against the Cheetahs last week are back in the Cell C Sharks starting line-up for their Super Rugby clash against the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday (19:10 kick-off).Sharks website
editor Michael Marnewick
reports that Director of Rugby Jake White
has opted to start with a formidable side that has been the hallmark of this team throughout the Super Rugby competition.
Of the injured trio of Paul Jordaan
, Pat Lambie and Beast Mtawarira
all receiving scans this week to confirm or deny a return to rugby, it was only Jordaan who was passed fit and he has been included alongside JP Pietersen
in the midfield. Frans Steyn
takes over from Tim Swiel at flyhalf and Fred Zeilinga
has been named as back-up off the bench.Ryan Kankowski
is back at No 8 after withdrawing from last week’s game with a groin strain, and White has bolstered the starting line-up with three Boks who played off the bench last week, Willem Alberts
, Jannie du Plessis and brother and captain Bismarck.
Bismarck again takes the captaincy armband after Jean Deysel
had the honour last week.
Thomas du Toit has enjoyed a meteoric rise in fortunes, having been selected out of the Sharks Academy to play for the Sharks XV in the Vodacom Cup, representing South Africa at the IRB Junior World Championship in New Zealand recently and last week earned his debut for the Sharks in Super Rugby when he came on off the bench and delivered a performance worthy of a recall, this week into the starting line-up.
“It was his first game, he’s just a 19-year-old prop, but it was obviously massive for him and he scrummed against a Springbok front row,” said White. “I’m sure he enjoyed it which is nice, but I think he would have enjoyed it more if he’d won.”
The Stormers are playing purely for pride, looking to give their fans a happy, final send off when their tournament concludes on Saturday.
“At the beginning of the year, people said the Stormers and the Sharks had amongst the two strongest squads in the competition, and that hasn’t changed,” White explained. “It doesn’t matter what they say about the injuries, they still have a great squad. We always knew at the back end of the competition they were going to be a threat and that’s exactly what’s happened.
“In a lot of ways, with nothing to gain, that gives them a lot of freedom because it doesn’t feel like they have a noose around their neck.” Teams:Stormers
15. Jaco Taute, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Sailosi Tagicakibau, 12. Juan de Jongh, 11. Cheslin Kolbe, 10. Kurt Coleman, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Schalk Burger (captain), 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Michael Rhodes, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. Alistair Vermaak
Substitutes: 16. Stephan Coetzee, 17. Sti Sithole, 18. Martin Dreyer, 19. Manuel Carizza, 20. Siya Kolisi, 21. Louis Schreuder, 22. Peter Grant, 23. Seabelo SenatlaSharks:
15. SP Marais, 14. S’bura Sithole, 13. JP Pietersen
, 12. Paul Jordaan
, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Francois Steyn
, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Ryan Kankowski
, 7. Willem Alberts
, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Anton Bresler, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1. Thomas du Toit
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Etienne Oosthuizen, 20. Jean Deysel
, 21. Charl McLeod, 22. Fred Zeilinga
, 23. Tonderai Chavhanga