Sharks packing a dozen Boks

2011-02-01 00:00

JOHN Plumtree has named a powerful starting line-up, including a dozen Springboks, for tonight’s Tri-Series friendly against the Lions at Newlands.

The Lions lost 15-0 to the Stormers in the opening game and the tournament ends on Saturday evening when the Sharks face the hosts in Cape Town.

Plumtree has included 10 players who started the Currie Cup final against Western Province back in October.

Bok wing JP Pietersen, over his hamstring injury, is in for Lwazi Mvovo and new centre signing, Meyer Bosman, takes over from Andries Strauss, who is now back with the Cheetahs.

Two of the three changes at forward follow the injuries to flank Keegan Daniel and lock Steven Sykes and they are replaced by Jacques Botes and Ross Skeate.

The talking point, of course, will be the naming of captain John Smit at hooker in place of the dynamic Bismarck du Plessis, but Plumtree will be the first to tell you that not too much should be read into selection for an opening friendly.

Plumtree has already said that Smit will be rotated this season and used in all three places in the front-row, and it would be no surprise to see him at loosehead for the Super Rugby opener (against the Cheetahs on February 19) with Du Plessis back at hooker.

Certainly all 28 players – 13 have been named on the bench for tonight – will see action either tonight or on Saturday.

Plumtree said the friendlies are not being taken lightly and building early confidence and cohesion will be important.

“From a confidence perspective, it’s always good to win and if we can come back from Cape Town with two victories it would be fantastic. But we know we are going to be using 28 players over the tournament so we could be up after 50 minutes and lose as we swap players.”

The Lions have replaced former Shark Rory Kockott with their first-choice scrumhalf Jano Vermaak, who will partner Andre Pretorius at halfback.

A knee injury to Kevin Buys has resulted in former Sharks prop Pat Cilliers being rushed into the starting line-up. Coach John Mitchell initially ruled that Cilliers was short of conditioning, but he has now been forced to include him against his old team-mates.

“These pre-season games don’t mean much in terms of results,” said Mitchell after the loss to the Stormers. “It is all about getting ready for February 19.”



15. Louis Ludik, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Stefan Terblanche 12. Meyer Bosman 11. JP Pietersen 10. Patrick Lambie 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Alistair Hargreaves, 4. Ross Skeate 3. Jannie du Plessis 2. John Smit (capt), 1. Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16. Craig Burden 17. Eugene van Staden 18. Gerhard Mostert 19. Daniel Adonga 20. Conrad Hoffmann 21. Jacques-Louis Potgieter 22. Adrian Jacobs 23. Bismarck du Plessis 24. Anton Bresler 25. Jacques Engelbrecht 26. Riaan Swanepoel 27. Lwazi Mvovo 28. Mark Richards

Lions – 15. Jaco Taute, 14. Tonderai Chavhanga, 13. Waylon Murray, 12. Deon van Rensburg, 11. Michael Killian, 10. Andre Pretorius, 9. Jano Vermaak, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Joshua Strauss, 6. Derick Minnie, 5. Franco van der Merwe (capt), 4. George Earle, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Martin Bezuidenhout, 1. JC Janse van Rensburg.

Replacements: Bandise Maku, Ross Geldenhuys, Wikus van Heerden, Cobus Grobbelaar, Rory Kockott, Jannie Boshoff, Burton Francis, Edgar Maruthlulle Caylib Oosthuizen, David Bulbring, Dries van Schalkwyk, Joubert Engelbrecht, James Kamana/Lionel Mapoe.

Kick-off: 1900 (no TV coverage).

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