Jake does a Sharks shuffle ahead of Waratahs Super Rugby clash tomorrow

2014-03-28 00:00

SHARKS coach Jake White has made a number of changes to his side that will face the Waratahs in tomorrow’s Super Rugby encounter at King’s Park Stadium in Durban.

Winger Odwa Ndungane returns to the side having missed the last two games while JP Pietersen shifts to the other wing and Lwazi Mvovo moves to fullback in the place of SP Marais who drops to the bench. With the return of Pietersen, White was always going to have a selection poser in the back three.

But, he’s always maintained that he would find it difficult to leave a Springbok out of the run-on 15 if he was available.

White enthused about the back three of Ndungane, Pietersen and Mvovo, saying that along with S’bura Sithole at outside centre, the Sharks’ quickest backs would be a thrill to watch come game time.

“Lwazi has 50-odd Super Rugby games, he’s got a couple of Test matches. He’s probably one of our form backs, and now that Odwa’s come back, it’s not a case of finding a place for Lwazi, he just merits a place in the team,” White said at the Sharks’ weekly press conference at King’s Park yesterday afternoon.

So excited was White about the prospect of Mvovo playing at fullback that he felt with Gio Aplon heading to France, the Mthatha-born Shark could also be an option in that position for Heyneke Meyer’s Springboks.

“I’m quite excited. We’ve got Sithole, we’ve got Odwa, we’ve got JP and we have Lwazi. All four are probably the quickest guys in our franchise. I think it’s going to be exciting to see them run,” said White.

“Lwazi has got things that Percy [Montgomery] can do. He’s really quick and he likes broken field play. I know the Waratahs don’t kick, but if they decide to kick, then Lwazi’s there … he’s been one of the players that has played really well for us.”

Fred Zeilinga was the player White opted for in the number 10 jersey in the place of Pat Lambie, while Charl McLeod will start at scrumhalf.

With the 21-year-old Glenwood Old Boy having played the majority of his rugby in the Currie Cup last year alongside McLeod, White felt they were familiar with each other, and having Frans Steyn at inside centre would add a calming effect.

With Steyn also able to play at flyhalf with aplomb, tomorrow is the time for the young Zeilinga to prove to the World Cup winning former Bok coach that he can fill in for the injured Lambie on a regular basis.

With Paul Jordaan, who can play both inside and outside centre, coming back from injury against the Lions in two weeks, White said he did have the option of playing Steyn at 10.

McLeod’s move to the starting line-up means 20-year-old Maritzburg College Old Boy and Baby Bok Stefan Ungerer slots in on the bench as the reserve scrumhalf.

Once again, the Sharks will have a new pairing in the second row with Willem Alberts moving to lock in the place of the injured Anton Bresler. White confirmed yesterday that Bresler will join Pieter-Steph du Toit on the sidelines and will miss three to four months of action due to a shoulder injury.

Another inclusion in the side was Jean Deysel who will start in the number seven jersey vacated by Alberts. Former skipper Keegan Daniel was included in the match day 23 and is in line to play his first Super Rugby game of the season having recovered from his shoulder injury.

The Waratahs were handed a boost when Israel Folau was given the all clear to join his team-mates on tour, reported the Sydney Morning Herald. However, the competition’s leading try scorer will arrive in Durban too late to be ready for the game, but will be available to play against the Stormers next week.

Tomorrow’s game at King’s Park will kick off at 5.05 pm and will be officiated by New Zealander Mike Fraser who will be assisted by Glen Jackson and Marius Jonker. Deon van Blommenstein will once again be the Television Match Official.


Sharks: 15. Lwazi Mvovo, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. S’bura Sithole, 12. Frans Steyn, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Willem Alberts, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Etienne Oosthuizen, 20. Keegan Daniel, 21. Stefan Ungerer, 22. Heimar Williams, 23. SP Marais

Waratahs: 15. Jono Lance, 14. Rob Horne, 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12. Kurtley Beale, 11. Peter Betham, 10. Bernard Foley, 9. Nick Phipps, 8. Wycliff Palu, 7. Michael Hooper, 6. Dave Dennis (captain), 5. Kane Douglas, 4. Jacques Potgieter, 3. Sekope Kepu, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1. Benn Robinson

Substitutes: TBA.

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