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    Sharks unchanged for Blues, Bosch on bench

    2019-02-21 10:48

    Cape Town - The Sharks get their home campaign for the 2019 Super Rugby competition off to a challenging start when they host the Blue on Saturday.

    The starting line-up to take on the New Zealand side remains unchanged from last week’s team selected to play the Sunwolves.

    There are two changes on the bench, though, with the return of Thomas du Toit, in for Khutha Mchunu and Curwin Bosch for Rhyno Smith.

    "We were very happy with last week’s win against a quality side that will upset a few teams this year, but now we’re looking ahead to the Blues," flyhalf Robert du Preez said.

    "We played some exciting rugby and some brutal rugby, especially the front row that laid the platform for the rest of the team and we were able to score some lovely tries thanks to the hard work from the forwards."

    Looking back at recent history, the Sharks had a very successful run against Kiwi teams last year.

    "The opposition brings the best out of you, we knew these would be really big games, but we have to change our mindset around this – we can’t be up for a Kiwi game and not get up for an Aussie game," Du Preez added.

    "We will look to build on what we did last year, but this is a new year, they’re a new team and we expect a good battle out there on Saturday."

    Kick-off is at 15:00.

    Teams:

    Sharks

    15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

    Substitutes: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Curwin Bosch

    Blues

    15 Melani Nanai, 14 Caleb Clarke, 13 TJ Faiane, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Otere Black, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe

    Substitutes: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Matt Matich, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Tanielu Tele’a

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    Friday, 22 March 2019
    • Blues v Highlanders, Eden Park 08:35
    Saturday, 23 March 2019
    • Hurricanes v Stormers, Westpac Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Crusaders, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Sunwolves v Lions, Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium 12:55
    • Bulls v Chiefs, Loftus Versfeld 15:05
    • Sharks v Rebels, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:15
    Sunday, 24 March 2019
    • Reds v Brumbies, Suncorp Stadium 07:05

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