Balanced Sharks side named for Toulon friendly

2016-02-05 06:00
Springboks Tendai Mtawarira with Coenie Oosthuizen will both start their preseason game against French side Toulon tomorrow night.                          PHOTO: gallo images

Springboks Tendai Mtawarira with Coenie Oosthuizen will both start their preseason game against French side Toulon tomorrow night. PHOTO: gallo images

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GARY Gold has named a starting line-up of something old and something new for tomorrow night’s friendly outing against Toulon at the Stade Mayol in Toulon.

New captain and flyhalf Pat Lambie will lead the side for the first of two matches on the Sharks’ French tour ahead of the Super Rugby season and he will be partnered by fellow-Springbok Cobus Reinach at halfback.

There are four other past and present Springboks in the starting line-up with two on the wing (Lwazi Mvovo and Odwa Ndugnane) and the remaining two at prop (Beast ­Mtawarira and new signing Coenie Oosthuizen).

Two Springboks just back from Japan, flank Marcell Coetzee and World Cup fullback Willie le Roux, stayed behind in Durban for a week of conditioning. They will join the squad in Toulon tomorrow and will see action against Toulouse in the second tour game next Thursday night.

Competition for places in the Sharks’ Super Rugby line-up will be at its most intense at loose forward and the 20-year-old Du Preez twins, Daniel and Jean-Luc, have an early opportunity to make an impression tomorrow.

The game is very much a pre-season friendly with Gold naming 13 players on a crowded bench and Toulon unlikely to risk many of their high-profile players in the middle of a busy European season.

“This weekend’s game is an ideal opportunity to test ourselves,” Gold said late yesterday. “We will see how far we’ve come after what has been quite a lengthy pre-season. We’ve selected a strong side against what should be a good Toulon team.

“It’s a great opportunity for youngsters such as Jean-Luc and Daniel du Preez to get their first start in the Super Rugby squad.

“The guys are really excited and I know that we will be a bit rusty in comparison to a Toulon team who are mid-season and have been playing together for a few months, but’s that the type of challenge we wanted,” the Sharks coach said.

The match kicks off at 9.30pm tomorrow and SuperSport have confirmed they will not be covering the game.

Sharks team to play Toulon: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Lwazi Mvovo, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Odwa Ndungane, 10 Pat Lambie (c), 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Beast Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Giant Mtyanda, 20 Dave McDuling, 21 Hyron Andrews, 22 Stefan Ungerer, 23 Michael Claassens, 24 Garth April, 25 Heimar Williams, 26 Johan Deysel, 27 Wandile Mjekevu, 28 S’bura Sithole.

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