Talented Zeilinga dislodges James from Sharks side

2013-08-21 00:00

Fred Zeilinga, the talented 20-year-old flyhalf, has dislodged Springbok veteran Butch James from the Sharks side to meet Free State in the Currie Cup match in Bloemfontein on Friday night.

Zeilinga, a product of Glenwood High School, came on as a replacement in the Sharks’ final Super Rugby game, scoring a try against the Southern Kings. He has since played off the bench in the Currie Cup with James starting at flyhalf.

While James has been solid and workmanlike, Zeilinga showed some lively touches in the final quarter against both Griquas and the Golden Lions, and he has been rewarded with his first start for the Sharks on Friday night.

Zeilinga, who has overcome a broken leg while playing for Glenwood’s first team, represented Sharks’ junior teams at U13, 16, 18, 19 and 21 levels.

“Fred has come off the bench and done really well,” backline coach Sean Everitt said.

“His kicking has been really good and he deserves a chance. At the same time it’s also a rotational switch. We want to give players opportunities.”

Keegan Daniel, who missed the Sharks’ first two games because of a knee injury, is back but Jacques Botes, his replacement, will retain the captaincy and the number eight berth.

Daniel takes over from Brynard Stander, who sustained a minor knee strain against the Lions.

The third change was forced on the Sharks coaching staff with fullback Odwa Ndungane sidelined with a pulled hamstring, while SP Marais, signed from the Southern Kings, will switch from wing to fullback. Sizo Maseko, who missed the game against the Lions because of a hamstring strain, returns on the wing.

Centre Tim Whitehead, nursing a rib injury this week, is being rested for another week and Louis Ludik and Heimar Williams are again paired in midfield.

Free State coach Naka Drotské has rushed disgraced Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane into his starting line-up for Friday.

Nyakane was suspended from the Springbok squad by national coach Heyneke Meyer, but Drotske has welcomed him with open arms after his scrum battled against Western Province in Cape Town on Saturday.

“From our perspective, it is good to have Trevor back,” Drotské said.

“We struggled in the scrums last Saturday and we need him because we are a little bit thin on the ground after losing Coenie Oosthuizen and Adriaan Strauss to the Springboks.”

Drotské said Nyakane could bolster the Cheetahs, not only at tight head, but also on the loose head side if needed.

“His versatility is what makes him such a valuable player.”

Lock Lood de Jager, in for the injured Waltie Vermeulen, will lock the scrum with Teboho Mohoje.

Drotské has named a backline crowded with Super Rugby players. Sarel Pretorius will start at scrumhalf with Kevin Luiters coming onto the bench in the place of Piet van Zyl, who had been called up to the Springboks.

The match kicks off at 7.10 pm and Jason Jaftha will be the referee.


Sharks: 15. SP Marais, 14. Sizo Maseko, 13. Louis Ludik, 12. Heimar Williams, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Jacques Botes (capt), 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Keegan Daniel, 5. Marco Wentzel, 4. Edwin Hewitt, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Dale Chadwick. Replacements: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Rayno Gerber, 18. Peet Marais, 19. Lubabalo Mtembu, 20. Cobus Reinach, 21. Butch James, 22. Jaco van Tonder.

Cheetahs: 15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Riaan Smit, 13. Johann Sadie, 12. Robert Ebersohn, 11. Raymond Rhule, 10. Elgar Watts, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Philip van der Walt, 7. Lappies Labuschagne, 6. Boom Prinsloo (capt), 5. Lood de Jager, 4. Teboho Mohoje, 3. Trevor Nyakane, 2. Hercu Liebenberg, 1. Caylib Oosthuizen. Replacements: 16. Ethienne Reynecke, 17. Rossouw de Klerk, 18. Freddie Ngoza, 19. Davon Raubenheimer, 20. Kevin Luiters, 21. Willie du Plessis, 22. Joubert Engelbrecht.

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