The Sharks have named a strong squad for their opening match of the Super Rugby Unlocked campaign against the Lions at Kings Park on Friday.
Coach Sean Everitt has named a total of 13 players who featured in Saturday’s Green and Gold Springbok Showdown for the clash, including the entire front row.
On the brink of Super Rugby Unlocked
Ox Nche, Dylan Richardson and Thomas du Toit will lock horns with the Lions front row. Lock Hyron Andrews together with loose forwards James Venter and Sikhumbuzo Notshe complete the starting forwards who were in action over the weekend past.
Sanele Nohamba impressed the past weekend in the Springbok Showdown and will link up with Curwin Bosch as starting halfbacks.
Former Bulls utility back Manie Libbok makes his competitive debut for the Sharks at Fullback while Blitzboks veteran Werner Kok will also make his bow at Kings Park on Friday night.
Skipper Lukhanyo Am rounds out the Springbok Showdown contingent in the back division as the men from Durban chase the Super Rugby Unlocked title.
JJ van der Mescht and Jeremy Ward will no doubt want to show that their experience in Green and Gold only adds to what they bring to the table when they come off the bench.
‘We’ve learned our lessons’
Sharks flank Venter admits that the energy and excitement in the camp are driving the players towards delivering a big performance on Friday evening. He is no stranger to the opposition having made his senior debut for the Lions.
“Our pre-season has gone really well, we’ve trained hard and executed well. But we’ve learned our lessons from that Bulls game and now it’s about executing against the Lions.
“The camp is really excited. We knew going into the Bulls game that it was a warm-up match and we took that in our stride, although we learned a lot and will bounce back. This week has been about prepping for the Lions and we have trained hard, the vibe in the camp is great and we’re really excited to get stuck into Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked.”
The Super Rugby Unlocked opener between the Sharks and Lions will kick-off at 19:00 on Friday 9 October from an empty Kings Park.
- Ox Nche
- Dylan Richardson
- Thomas du Toit
- Ruben van Heerden
- Hyron Andrews
- James Venter
- Phepsi Buthelezi
- Sikhumbuzo Notshe
- Sanele Nohamba
- Curwin Bosch
- Werner Kok*
- Marius Louw
- Lukhanyo Am (c)
- JP Pietersen
- Manie Libbok*
16. Dan Jooste*
17. Mzamo Majola
18. John-Hubert Meyer
19. JJ van der Mescht
20. Mpilo Gumede*
21. Grant Williams
22. Jeremy Ward
23. Thaakir Abrahams*
*Denotes debut for the Cell C Sharks