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    Mvovo is Jake's new Percy

    2014-03-27 17:09

    Durban - Sharks director of rugby Jake White drew comparisons with Springbok legend Percy Montgomery when justifying his decision to select Lwazi Mvovo in the unfamiliar role of fullback on Thursday.

    Winger Mvovo, who has seven caps for South Africa, was shifted to the number 15 jersey at the expense of SP Marais for the Super Rugby clash against the Waratahs in Durban on Saturday.

    "He's got things Percy can do, he's really quick and he likes broken field play," White said at a press conference ahead of the game.

    "If the Waratahs kick, which they don't do much, Lwazi is probably the guy that will capitalise most."

    Mvovo, 27, has 57 Super Rugby caps for the KwaZulu-Natal union and White felt his form this season would have made it difficult to drop him after the availability of Odwa Ndungane, who returns after compassionate leave.

    "Lwazi is probably one of our form backs and now that Odwa's come back, it's not a case of finding a place for Lwazi, he just merits himself a place in the team," White said.

    "There's no reason why he can't play fullback and I'm quite excited.

    "We've got (S'bura) Sithole, Odwa, JP (Pietersen) and Lwazi, the four are probably the quickest guys in our franchise. I think it's going to be exciting to see them run.

    "Lwazi's really played well right through the season so far."

    White made four changes in total to his side, another unfamiliar one being the shifting of Willem Alberts to lock instead of the injured Anton Bresler with Jean Deysel coming in at flank.

    The flyhalf position, vacated by a six-month injury lay-off to Patrick Lambie, went to Fred Zeilinga, while Charl McLeod would complete a new halfback pairing after Cobus Reinach fractured his hand in the 23-19 loss to the Bulls last week.

    "Ideally I'd like Cobus and Pat to be playing, but in the Currie Cup last year Charl played most of his rugby with Fred," White said of the nine and 10 positions.

    "So it's a change but they've played a lot together and I don't think it's a disruption."

    White admitted that Steyn was still the preferred flyhalf option in the absence of Lambie, with Zeilinga well aware of his thinking.

    "I'm still considering Frans there, it's not ideal and wasn't obviously first prize," he said.

    "I'd like Frans to have stayed there and Fred knows that Frans can slot in there.

    "Paul Jordaan comes back next week and can play 12 and 13, so there are lots of exciting things that can still happen."

    Despite the gloom around Kings Park over the latest injury setbacks, there is some good news with the return of former captain Keegan Daniel to the bench.

    Heimar Williams also returns, while Stefan Ungerer is in line for his debut after coming in as scrumhalf cover.

    The Sharks currently top the competition standings with 19 points, two clear of the Brumbies and three ahead of fellow-Australian visitors, the Waratahs.



    15. Lwazi Mvovo, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. S’bura Sithole, 12. Frans Steyn, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Willem Alberts, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1. Tendai Mtawarira

    Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Etienne Oosthuizen, 20. Keegan Daniel, 21. Stefan Ungerer, 22. Heimar Williams, 23. SP Marais


    15 Jono Lance, 14 Rob Horne, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis (captain), 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Jacques Potgieter, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.

    Substitutes: TBA

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