Mvovo available to Sharks as coach Du Preez sorts out playing style of new squad Mvovo available to Sharks, coach sorts out playing style

2016-08-19 06:00
                                        PHOTO: gallo images Lwazi Mvovo has been released by the Springboks and has joined up with the Sharks.

PHOTO: gallo images Lwazi Mvovo has been released by the Springboks and has joined up with the Sharks.

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WING Lwazi Mvovo has been released by the Springboks ahead of Saturday’s Test against Argentina in Nelspruit and he rejoined the Sharks on Wednesday.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said Mvovo and Western Province backrower Sikhumbuzo Notshe would rejoin their provinces.

Sharks coach Robert du Preez named his team for today’s Currie Cup game against Boland on Wednesday.

Coetzee said utility back Francois Hougaard (knee injury) will not be considered for selection for the first two Tests against Argentina, but prop Trevor Nyakane is recovering quickly from his ankle injury and will be considered for the 26-man Bok touring squad to Argentina.

Niggling injuries will result in the Sharks resting a number of their first-choice­ selections for today’s trip to Wellington, head coach Du Preez said.

Du Preez said that the injuries were not serious but a couple of players had come through a long S uper Rugby season and needed a break before the Sharks take on the Blue Bulls in Durban the following weekend.

One of the players who will sit out this afternoon is lock Stephan Lewies.

“Stephan is nursing a few bumps and bruises and needs a week off,” said the Sharks coach.

“We want him fresh for the Bulls game.”

The Sharks have a ready-made replacement in former Stormers lock Ruan Botha, who has shown impressive form off the bench since recovering from an extended injury break.

Du Preez said that he would also rotate his hooker against Boland.

“Chiliboy [Ralepelle] will come into the starting line-up.

“We need him to play for 80 minutes so Franco Marais will be on the bench.”

Du Preez said his son, powerful flank Jean Luc, was recovering well from his recent injury.

“He could have played at a push, but we are going to leave him for another week.”

His twin brother, number eight Dan du Preez, has been sidelined since late in May when he tore a groin muscle.

“He is recovering well but it was a serious injury and I would say he will be fit to play in three to four weeks,” Du Preez senior said.

“Rotating players like this gives other youngsters an opportunity and it does allow us to build our depth.

“I’m not afraid to give the youngsters a go and then it is up to them to take their chances.”

Du Preez said that the emphasis at practice this week had been on improving the skill levels among the backs.

“We made far too many unforced handling errors in the opposition’s 22 against both the Pumas and Griquas.

“I’m not happy with our execution.

“If we are going to play more ball-in-hand rugby, we can’t afford so many mistakes.

“”That has been the big focus this week.”

He said that former Sharks and Springbok fullback Ricardo Loubscher­, who recently joined the Sharks as a skills coach, had an important role to play.

“He has had plenty of experience with the Bulls and the Springboks as a backline coach so it is great having him helping out.”

Du Preez said that he had also increased the intensity at training.

“It all starts at the practices. I’ve told the players that I’m watching how they train.

“If they practise well, they will play well, they will transfer that intensity from the training pitch to the match situation­ and we need that to pressure our opponents.”

Du Preez is determined to settle on a brand of rugby that suits the Sharks ahead of next year’s Super Rugby competition.

“We have to set a platform for next year and sort out our playing style. We need to find that right balance between defence and attack and the Currie Cup provides us with that opportunity.

“Our challenge is blending the youth and experience in the squad while we have to improve our skills if we are to be successful in keeping the ball in hand,” said Du Preez.

Today’s game against Boland kicks off at 3pm and Marius van der Westhuizen will be the referee.

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