Returning Boks give Sharks bite

2010-08-06 00:00

THE return of a host of Springbok front-rowers and the selection of young Pat Lambie at flyhalf are the outstanding features of the Sharks team to face the Lions in the Currie Cup match at King’s Park tomorrow evening.

Head coach John Plumtree has named Springbok props Jannie du Plessis and Beast Mtawarira in his starting line-up, while Test hooker Bismarck du Plessis, returning to action after a serious neck injury, has been included on a powerful bench.

Plumtree has been wanting to field the 19-year-old Lambie at flyhalf and injuries to Steve Meyer and Ruan Pienaar in Bloemfontein last week opened the door.

Meyer is to undergo surgery on his knee ligaments and is out for the season while Pienaar, with a popped AC (shoulder) joint, has been released early from his Sharks contract and will join Ulster next month.

“It’s an ideal opportunity to see what Pat Lambie can do at flyhalf,” Plumtree said yesterday. “We’re very excited about the move and so is he.”

The Lions pack provided the Blue Bulls pack with a rough ride last weekend and Plumtree said he was pleased to have Bok props Du Plessis and Mtawarira back to beef up his pack for the game.

Plumtree says the two forwards are likely to be selected for the Springbok Tri-Nations squad this weekend.

“I’m not expecting to have them for next week [against the Leopards in Potchefsroom] so this is a good opportunity to use them. It is also a chance for them to show their form ahead of the home leg of the Tri-Nations.”

In the other changes, Andries Strauss takes over from Lambie at inside centre while the burly Willem Alberts, over his injury, starts in place of flank Jacques Botes.

Bok lock Alistair Hargreaves returns in the second row for Ross Skeate after his injury break last weekend.

Plumtree has again opted for a split of five forwards and two backs on the bench. Centre Riaan Swanepoel and scrumhalf Rory Kockott return to the squad, hooker Bismarck du Plessis starts his comeback from injury and Skeate, loose forwards Botes and Jean Deysel, and prop Eugene van Staden complete the reserve bench.

“We’ve had a really good week’s preparation, far better than last week because we’ve had the Springboks back for two weeks now,” said Plumtree.

There are five players in the Sharks pack who have played for the Springboks and two more on the bench.

Lions coach John Mitchell has retained the team that provided the Blue Bulls with stiff opposition last weekend.

Young referee Jason Jaftha will handle the game, which kicks off at 5.05 pm tomorrow.

Sharks: Louis Ludik, JP Pietersen, Stefan Terblanche (captain), Andries Strauss, Lwazi Mvovo, Patrick Lambie, Charl McLeod, Ryan Kankowski, Willem Alberts, Keegan Daniel, Alistair Hargreaves, Steven Sykes, Jannie du Plessis, Craig Burden, Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: Bismarck du Plessis, Eugene van Staden, Ross Skeate, Jean Deysel, Jacques Botes, Rory Kockott, Riaan Swanepoel.

Lions: Jaco Taute, Deon van Rensburg, Waylon Murray, Doppies la Grange, Michael Killian, Elton Jantjies, Jano Vermaak, Warren Whiteley, Trevor Hall, Derek Minnie, Franco van der Merwe, George Earle, Kevin Buys, Martin Bezuidenhout, JC Janse van Rensburg.

Replacements: Edgar Marutlulle , Ross Geldenhuys, David Bulbring, Jaco Kriel/Renaldo Bothma, Chris Jonck, Carlos Spencer, Marius Delport.

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