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    White picks strong Sharks team

    2014-02-05 12:44
    Durban - Cell C Sharks director of rugby Jake White has named a powerful line-up for Friday night’s pre-season warm-up match against the Lions at Ellis Park, reports Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick.

    White pointed out after training on Tuesday that he would name potentially a similar side to the one that will play the Bulls in the Super Rugby opener at Kings Park next Saturday. This will obviously give the team the best opportunity to gel as a unit in the match scenario.

    “It’s going to be as close as it gets to a dress rehearsal,” he explained. “I’d like to pick a team that I’d like to start against the Bulls, I’ll give them as much game-time as I can in the first 40 or 50 minutes. Then if I’ve seen enough of what I need to, then I’ll look to give other guys a run. But the quicker I can get cohesion and group work going the better it will be.”

    Like the Saracens match, the potential for injuries is a concern - as it would be for any coach before the actual tournament has started - although it is a reality all teams face. But certainly, first prize would be coming out of this game unscathed, regardless of the result.

    “As a coach you’re always going to be concerned about losing guys to injury. I don’t think a coach ever gets a team he wants to start, even at Springbok level. Whenever you get one back, someone else inevitably breaks down. What we want is a situation where we hopefully come through this Friday’s game unscathed, but if they don’t then we’ve at least used the two warm-up games to give other guys an opportunity to get game-time, and they’re ready to step in if need be.”

    An all-Springbok front row will face the Lions while Patrick Lambie returns from honeymoon and Francois Steyn is over his injury, as is fullback SP Marais.

    Wing Lwazi Mvovo was stretchered off as a precautionary measure in the Saracens match but suffered no ill-effects from the bump he took and has been named on the wing. Ryan Kankowski has been named on the bench with White looking to get him back into the system as early as possible.

    Teams:

    Lions:

    TBA

    Sharks:

    15. SP Marais, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Francois Steyn, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Tera Mtembu, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Anton Bresler, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1. Tendai Mtawarira

    Substitutes: 16. Monde Hadebe, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Stephan Lewies, 20. Jacques Botes, 21. Ryan Kankowski, 22. Charl McLeod, 23. Fred Zeilinga, 24. Heimar Williams, 25. S'bura Sithole, 26. Jaco van Tonder

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