Du Preez explains Chiliboy omission

Chiliboy Ralepelle (Gallo Images)
Chiliboy Ralepelle (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Spare a thought for Chiliboy Ralepelle

The 31-year-old hooker has gone from the highs of being selected in Springbok match-day squads for Tests against Australia and New Zealand this month to being overlooked for this weekend's Currie Cup semi-final for the Sharks. 

To make matters worse, Ralepelle did not get onto the field in either of those Rugby Championship matches after having been made to talk about the emotion of his first Test appearance since 2013. 

But having returned from the Boks, Ralepelle has now been left out of Saturday's squad to face the Blue Bulls at Kings Park. 

Instead, Sharks coach Robert du Preez has opted for Franco Marais as his starting hooker while Akker van der Merwe will look to make an impact off the bench. 

It is a decision that Du Preez described as "difficult", but one that he believes is the right one. 

"There have been quite a few tough selection poses, but we think that the team that we've selected is the team that's in form," Du Preez explained.

"It was a tough decision. At the end of the day we just felt that Chili hasn't played a lot of rugby and Akker has been the in-form guy. He's been playing really well. We know that he'll make a great impact off the bench."

The Sharks also welcome back the services of Springbok Jean-Luc du Preez to their starting line-up.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 14:30.

Teams:

Sharks    

15 Garth April, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Sbu Nkosi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit

Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Tristan Blewett, 23 Odwa Ndungane

Blue Bulls

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Burger Odendaal (captain), 12 JT Jackson, 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Tim Agaba, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Aston Fortuin/Jannes Kirsten, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Pierre Schoeman

Substitutes: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Jannes Kirsten/Eli Snyman, 19 Jano Venter, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Tony Jantjies, 22 Duncan Matthews, 23 John-Roy Jenkinson

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