Boks need some rest - Sharks coach
Cape Town - Sharks coach Robert du Preez has explained his decision to rest several frontline players for Saturday’s Super Rugby match against the Southern Kings in Durban.
There are some injury-enforced changes while some are rotational from the side that thumped the Waratahs 37-14 at Kings Park last weekend.
The loss of the injured Pat Lambie necessitated a change at flyhalf.
Although Curwin Bosch deputised with aplomb in the No 10 jersey, the coaching staff have named him at fullback in place of Clement Poitrenaud, who has a groin strain.
This opens the door for Benhard Janse van Rensburg to marshall the backline.
The other change among the backs sees Odwa Ndungane come in for Lwazi Mvovo on the wing.
Tera Mtembu will lead the side in the absence of Lambie and he has a new loose-forward partner, Jacques Vermeulen, taking over from Philip van der Walt who suffered a facial injury last week.
There is an all-new front row with Thomas du Toit, Chiliboy Ralepelle and Lourens Adriaanse replacing Tendai Mtawarira, Franco Marais and Coenie Oosthuizen respectively.
“Injuries and Springbok player rest protocols have necessitated changes to our team this week,” Du Preez said after naming his team on Thursday.
“Obviously losing a player of Pat’s calibre is a massive loss for us, but we have some exciting youngsters in that position and we are looking forward to seeing them make the step up.”
Du Preez insisted they won’t be taking the Kings lightly.
“We are not underestimating the Kings and although some of their results have not gone their way, they have been playing some good rugby. We’ve spoken about wanting to improve each week and our focus will be on finishing our opportunities and being more clinical,” he said.
“The players loved playing at home last week and the vibe was fantastic. We want to show great intent and make our fans proud.”
Saturday’s clash at Kings Park is scheduled for 19:30.
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Odwa Ndungane, 10 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu (captain), 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit
Substitutes: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Daniel du Preez, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Garth April