Stars rest, but Sharks still look solid

2008-06-11 00:00

New coach John Plumtree is resting a number of first-choice players for tomorrow night’s compulsory friendly against the Northern Free State Griffons at Welkom, but has nevertheless included five Springboks in the starting line-up.

Fullback Stefan Terblanche, scrumhalf Rory Kockott and captain Johann Muller will not be making the long trek to Welkom nor will Plumtree, who underwent back surgery last week.

The Boks, who will brave the Free State cold are Waylon Murray, Henno Mentz, Albert van den Berg, Jannie du Plessis and Deon Carstens.

The Sharks, of course, are also missing nine current Springbok squad members, while AJ Venter has taken up residence in Cape Town and French flyhalf Frederic Micahalk will only be fit again next month.

Still, there is an even spread of talent with Brad Barritt captaining the side from flyhalf with Sharks players Murray, Andries Strauss and Mentz outside him.

The pack, with two Bok props in Carstens and Du Plessis, lineout specialist Van den Berg and a powerful backrow in Jean Deysel, Jacques Botes and Steve Sykes, who moves from lock to flank, should ensure that the Sharks win more than their share of possession.

Kick-off is at 7 pm.

Sharks squad:

Chris Jordaan, Danie Dames, Waylon Murray, Andries Strauss, Henno Mentz, Bradley Barritt (capt), Scott Mathie, Jean Deysel, Steven Sykes, Jacques Botes, Albert van den Berg, Alistair Hargreaves, Jannie du Plessis, Craig Burden, Deon Carstens.

Replacements: Skipper Badenhorst, Melusi ‘Burra’ Mtetwa, Schalk van Jaarsveld, Skholiwe Ndlovu, Jacques Potgieter, Charl McLeod, Andrew Borgen, Rian Swanepoel, Luzuko Vulindlu, Lwazi Mvovo, Dumisani Matyeshana.

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