Tonderai, Tim to play

2014-04-19 00:00

TONDERAI Chavhanga and Tim Swiel will be starting for the Sharks in this afternoon’s Super Rugby encounter against the Cheetahs at King’s Park Stadium.

The two were named by Jake White to replace Odwa Ndungane and Fred Zeilinga, who are expected to be out for an extended period.

Chavhanga, who has been playing Vodacom Cup rugby for the Sharks XV, has been rewarded for his patience and hard work and was handed an 18-month contract, White confirmed on Thursday.

White did not doubt the value Chavhanga’s selection would bring to the side, especially having played against Free State in the Vodacom Cup last week.

“He’s played for our Vodacom Cup team for the last couple of months. He played against Free State the other day and he played well, and he’s going to be playing against the same type of style,” White said about the player who was making his way back from the wilderness. “I’ve known Tondi since he was a young player when I picked him for SA U21s. I picked him as a Springbok and he scored six tries in his debut game, so I have no doubt what he offers us in terms of pace, in terms of being a bit more senior.

“For me, it’s a bit of a success story. He worked the whole of last year with no money. He came to training while he wasn’t on a contract. He showed massive amounts of commitment and now not only does he get the opportunity to play Super Rugby, but this week, he signed an 18-month-contract with the Sharks, so this week has been exciting for him and his family,” White said.

Having Frans Steyn available in the midfield made it easier for White to select the precociously talented — although inexperienced — Tim Swiel at flyhalf.

White said the game was an opportunity to show Swiel that the franchise had faith in his ability, having poached him from Western Province at the end of last year’s Currie Cup.

Although his second appearance, it will be a first start for the English-born 20-year-old who was brought up in Cape Town and schooled at the famed Bishops.

Another change made by White was the inclusion of Keegan Daniel at number eight in the place of Ryan Kankowski, who is rested for the upcoming tour, having toured Down Under and having started all seven of the Sharks’ games this campaign. White picked Daniel feeling that it was time for a change amongst the forwards, saying that with the tour coming up, they will have to be a little “more clever” how they rotate players.

With the Cheetahs’ tendency of losing the ball in turnovers often, White felt the speedsters available in his backline such as Lwazi Mvovo, Chavhanga, S’bura Sithole and JP Pietersen would be difficult to catch in broken play.

The breakdown has been the Cheetahs’ biggest weakness this season, but Naka Drotske will hope the return of Springbok fetcher Heinrich Brüssow will help them in that regard.

Sharks skipper Bismarck du Plessis described Brüssow as a special player for the Cheetahs.

“He brings something different and I think they’ll also want to be hard on the ball, and we’ve got to be quite clinical at the breakdown where they have three guys going really hard on the ball,” Du Plessis told Weekend Witness.

White said: “As Bismarck said, Heinrich is a great player. There’s no doubt that when you read his name out in the team sheet, people are going to say they’re going to get a lot of confidence out of him being back in the group.

“It’s no different to when we get Pat Lambie back or when we pick our big name players, obviously it gives us a massive boost. He’s a good player. But we’ve played against [big players]. The challenge is that whoever is in the openside role has got to be looked after.

“Luckily enough we’ve got Marcell Coetzee, and I’m sure they’re going to have their own concerns on how they’re going to get him off the ball,” said White.

This afternoon’s game will kick off at 3 pm and will be officiated by Jaco Peyper.

Sharks: 15. Lwazi Mvovo, 14. Tonderai Chavhanga, 13. S’bura Sithole, 12. Frans Steyn, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Tim Swiel, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Keegan Daniel, 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. Ryan Kankowski, 21. Stefan Ungerer, 22. Heimar Williams, 23. SP Marais

Cheetahs: 15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Cornal Hendricks, 13. Johann Sadie, 12. Rayno Benjamin, 11. Willie le Roux, 10. Elgar Watts, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Jean Cook, 7. Boom Prinsloo, 6. Heinrich Brüssow, 5. Francois Uys, 4. Lodewyk de Jager, 3. Nicolaas van Dyk, 2. Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1. Caylib Oosthuizen

Substitutes: 16. Ryno Barnes, 17. Trevor Nyakane, 18. Rossouw de Klerk, 19. Andries Ferreira, 20. Teboho Mohoje, 21. Shaun Venter, 22. Riaan Smith, 23. Raymond Rhule

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