Sharks name touring squad

    2015-04-24 09:16

    Durban - The Sharks have named a 27-man squad for their four-game Australasian Super Rugby tour.

    The team will depart on Saturday, gaining the opportunity for an early flight overseas after enjoying a bye weekend.

    Skipper Bismarck du Plessis and utility back Frans Steyn were included as their suspensions will come to and end while on tour.

    Du Plessis will be ready for their first game against the Highlanders in Dunedin on May 1, while Steyn will be ready to tackle the Hurricanes in Wellington on May 9.

    Jean Deysel, who is serving a seven-week suspension for kneeing an opponent in the face, was not included as he’ll only be ready when the Sharks return to face the Rebels in Durban on May 29.

    Stephan Lewies and JP Pietersen have been included in the touring group after spending varied periods of time on the sidelines, recovering from their respective injuries.

    The Sharks will play the Highlanders (May 1) and Hurricanes (May 9) in New Zealand on their first half of the two-leg tour, before heading over to Australia to take on the Waratahs (May 16) and Reds (May 22).

    Their return will see them back at Kings Park for two final home games, against the Melbourne Rebels (May 29) and then closing out their pool commitments against the Stormers (June 13).

    “Tours are funny things, I’ve seen teams in far worse positions than us fight to get back and I’m not giving up the fight in any way, shape or form,” Director of Rugby Gary Gold told the Sharks’ official website.

    “I’m keen to work with these guys in adverse times - that’s when you see true warriors come out. That’s our challenge: we are down but we’re not out and now is the time to stand up and fight back. If we come back fighting in the last six games, we’ll salvage a lot of respect.”

    Sharks touring squad:

    1. Lourens Adriaanse

    2. Willem Alberts

    3. Mouritz Botha

    4. Renaldo Bothma

    5. Dale Chadwick

    6. Marcell Coetzee

    7. Lionel Cronje

    8. Bismarck du Plessis

    9. Jannie du Plessis

    10. Andre Esterhuizen

    11. Conrad Hoffmann

    12. Stephan Lewies

    13. Franco Marais

    14. Tendai Mtawarira

    15. Lubabalo ‘Giant’ Mtyanda

    16. Waylon Murray

    17. Lwazi Mvovo

    18. Odwa Ndungane

    19. Etienne Oosthuizen

    20. JP Pietersen

    21. Cobus Reinach

    22. S’bura Sithole

    23. Matt Stevens

    24. Francois Steyn

    25. Stefan Ungerer

    26. Marco Wentzel

    27. Fred Zeilinga

    * The Du Preez brothers, Daniel and Jean-Luc, as well as Thomas du Toit, were not considered due to their selection to the SA U20 squad while the following players have not been considered for selection due to injury or suspension:

    Pat Lambie

    Pieter-Steph du Toit

    Ryan Kankowski

    SP Marais

    Tera Mtembu

    Paul Jordaan

    Jean Deysel (suspension)

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