Franchise Challenge: Butch James returns from injury to play for the Sharks

2013-06-20 00:00

BUTCH James and four other Super Rugby players returning from injury have been included in the Sharks team to play the Golden Lions in the Franchise Challenge match at Ellis Park tomorrow evening.

James, who returned to the Sharks — ironically, from the Lions — this year, has spent the Super Rugby season on the sidelines after knee surgery.

Coach John Plumtree, his days suddenly numbered, has chosen a strong side ahead of the Super Rugby game against the Auckland Blues at King’s Park next weekend.

Also returning from injury are fullback Louis Ludik, who will play at outside centre, and loosehead Dale Chadwick, while the Sharks’ first-choice scrumhalf Cobus Reinach, after an extended break, and prop Allan Dell are on the bench.

Super Rugby regulars Riaan Viljoen, Odwa Ndungane, Charl McLeod, Wiehahn Herbst, Kyle Cooper, Jean Deysel, Tera Mtembu and captain Keegan Daniel have also been included.

With Anton Bresler and now Pieter-Steph du Toit out with injuries, the Sharks have borrowed Griquas lock Edwin Hewitt.

The friendly (the kick-off is at 7 pm tomorrow) is aimed at providing the Lions with match practice ahead of their Super Rugby promotion game against the Southern Kings, but it also provides the Sharks with a useful outing ahead of their return to Super Rugby next Saturday.

The Sharks are missing seven current Springbok squad members, the Du Plessis brothers, Beast Mtawarira, Lwazi Mvovo, Pat Lambie, Willem Alberts and Marcell Coetzee.

Sharks: 15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Louis Ludik, 12. Heimar Williams, 11. Sean Robinson, 10. Butch James, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Tera Mtembu, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Keegan Daniel (captain), 5. Jandre Marais, 4. Edwin Hewitt, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Dale Chadwick. Replacements: 16. Monde Hadebe, 17. Allan Dell, 18. Brynard Stander, 19. Khaya Majola, 20. Cobus Reinach, 21. Fred Zeilinga, 22. Tyler Fisher.

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