Sharks bolster squad for Bulls clash

2013-10-03 00:00

THE days of rotation are over and the Sharks have named their strongest possible squad for tomorrow night’s Currie Cup game against the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.

Victory will guarantee the Sharks a home semi-final and, as expected, the coaching staff have recalled experienced backrowers Jean Deysel and Jacques Botes.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has also released flank Marcell Coet­zee, but he can only join the Sharks today and he has been named on the bench. The Sharks, with a lack of depth in the second-row, will be miffed that Pieter-Steph du Toit, overlooked by the Boks, was not also available to them.

The impressive Tera Mtembu and Justin Downey, who started at loose forward against the Golden Lions last week, drop out of the match squad of 22.

In the only change to the backline, Cobus Reinach takes over from Charl McLeod at scrumhalf. Utility back Louis Ludik is back from injury and he joins an experienced bench, which includes McLeod, Butch James and Coetzee.

While Botes will become the most capped player in Currie Cup history tomorrow, captain Keegan Daniel will play in his 100th game.

“Yes, I’m sitting on 99 not out and I’m really excited about this weekend,” Daniel said yesterday.

“It’s a personal highlight for me. I’m very fortunate to have worn this jersey for so long. To play your 100th game for any union is special and I’m looking forward to enjoying the game at Loftus.”

He said it was fitting that he would be playing alongside Botes.

“Jacques and I go back a long time. He’s an inspiration to a lot of the players in the team and this couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”

Daniel said the next two weekends (against the Bulls and Western Province) were crucial for the Sharks ahead of the play-offs.

“We know the Bulls are a tough outfit and they will be confident after beating Griquas.”

Sharks team: 15. S.P. Marais, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Tim Whitehead, 12. Heimar Williams, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Keegan Daniel (captain), 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Peet Marais, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Dale Chadwick.

Replacements: 16. Monde Hadebe, 17. Danie Mienie, 18. Edwin Hewitt, 19. Marcell Coetzee, 20. Charl McLeod, 21. Butch James, 22. Louis Ludik.

Kick-off: 7.10 pm.

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