Predictable starting line-up: Pietersen returns for Sharks ahead of Lions clash

2012-06-01 00:00

SHARKS coach John Plumtree has named an entirely predictable starting line-up to face the Lions with Springbok wing JP Pietersen returning to centre for tomorrow evening’s Super Rugby derby at Ellis Park.

And there was excellent news for flyhalf Freddie Michalak yesterday when he heard that his recent form for the Sharks had been rewarded with a call-up to the French international squad to tour Argentina next month.

Michalak will be away with the French squad for two Tests while Super Rugby goes into a month’s recess.

Attempts by the Sharks to gain the release of outside centre Paul Jordaan from the South African U20 squad have failed and, with Tim Whitehead still sidelined by injury, Plumtree has been forced to switch Pietersen from wing back to centre for the trip to Johannnesburg.

Odwa Ndungane, another Springbok, takes over on the wing in the only change to the team which started against the Stormers last Saturday night.

The exciting running of Jordaan will be missed in the Sharks midfield, but Pietersen started the season playing at outside centre and the move immediately improved his workrate.

There are changes to the Sharks bench with lock Pieter-Steph du Toit also involved with the Junior Boks at the IRB Junior World Championship.

Jandré Marais joins the replacement bench while former Springbok centre Marius Joubert takes over from Ndungane and fullback Louis Ludik, who missed the Stormers game after bouncing a weight off his toe during a gym session, returns for Riaan Viljoen.

A couple of old Sharks have been named in the Lions squad. Former Bok flyhalf Butch James returns to the Lions’ starting line-up after serving his four-week suspension and he takes over from the injured Jaco Taute in the midfield while burly centre Waylon Murray, after an extended injury break, returns on the bench.

The Lions have lost lock Ruan Botha to the South African U20 squad and Hendrik Roodt is promoted to the second row while wing Anthonie Volminck takes over from Michael Killian.

TEAMS

Sharks: 15 Pat Lambie, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Freddie Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandré Marais, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Marius Joubert, 22 Louis Ludik.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Butch James, 11 Anthonie Volminck, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Joshua Strauss (c), 7 Grant Hattingh, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 CJ van der Linde.

Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Etienne Oosthuizen, 19 Cobus Grobbelaar, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Waylon Murray, 22 Ruan Combrinck.

Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand).

Kick-off: 5.05 pm.

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