Beast named Sharks captain for Kings clash
Cape Town - Tendai 'Beast' Mtawarira has been named as Sharks captain for their Super Rugby opener against the Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Coach Gary Gold named his side on Thursday, and Mtawarira has been given the captaincy in the absence of the injured Patrick Lambie.
There had been speculation that Marcell Coetzee, named vice-captain under Lambie before the start of the season, would be given the captaincy but Gold has opted for the 75-Test Springbok veteran instead.
Gold has also opted for Joe Pietersen at flyhalf ahead of Super Rugby novice Garth April, who has been named on the substitutes bench.
Fullback Wille le Roux, meanwhile, will make his Sharks debut.
"We're excited to announce the appointment of Beast as stand-in Super Rugby captain in the absence of Pat Lambie. Beast has been part of our leadership group under Pat and is a respected and key member of our squad," Gold said.
"Pat is still the team captain; however his injury lay-off has necessitated an interim change in captaincy and the appointment of Beast made sense.
"He was vice-captain in our match against Toulon and when Pat went off the field, we felt that Beast did a particularly good job that night.
"Beast has been at the Sharks for 10 years now and his heart bleeds for this team. He has grown in leaps and bounds as not only a player and one of the best loose-heads in the world, but as a leader and a revered member of the team."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 15:05.
15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Luzuko Vulindlu, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Ntando Kebe, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 JC Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (captain), 3 Tom Botha, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Substitutes: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Louis Albertse, 19 Schalk Oelofse, 20 Cyril-John Velleman, 21 Leighton Eksteen, 22 Louis Fouche, 23 Charles Radebe
15. Willie le Roux, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Joe Pietersen, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Daniel du Preez, 7. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Hyron Andrews, 4. Etienne Oosthuizen, 3. Coenie Oosthuizen, 2. Franco Marais, 1. Tendai Mtawarira (captain)
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Juan Schoeman, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Dave McDuling, 20. Philip van der Walt, 21. Michael Claassens, 22. Garth April, 23. S’bura Sithole