Farewell to one of the great SA rugby servants

Odwa Ndungane (Gallo)
Odwa Ndungane (Gallo)

Durban - When the Sharks host Western Province in Saturday's Currie Cup final at Kings Park, it will be the last time we see Odwa Ndungane in a professional game. 

The 36-year-old has decided, finally, to hang up his boots. 

There would obviously be no better way for him to bow out than by winning the Currie Cup in what will be his 251st appearance for the union since arriving in Durban in 2005. 

A week ago, it didn't look like Ndungane would play in the final with Sbu Nkosi and Kobus van Wyk the form wings at the Sharks. 

For that reason, Ndungane was given his big send-off in the final round of group stage fixtures when the Sharks hosted WP. 

That day didn't go well for the Durbanites, and what was supposed to be Ndungane's final start at Kings Park ended in a 30-21 defeat. 

But with a dislocated elbow having ruled Nkosi out of the final, Ndungane now has an opportunity to secure the perfect end to what has been a stellar career so far.

"We’re sad to lose a guy like Sbu, who has had a fantastic season, but we have Oddie who will be playing his 251st game for this union," Sharks coach Robert du Preez said on Thursday.

"It’s great to have him fill that position."

Ndungane said the final would be a "massive" occasion. 

"For me to be playing my last game is something really special," he said.

"I don't think, if I would be given an opportunity to finish off in any other way, I could have written this.

"I'm very grateful and very blessed."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 16:00.

Sport24's @LloydBurnard is in Durban covering the Currie Cup final...

Teams:

Sharks

15 Garth April, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Odwa Ndungane, 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 Rhyno Smith

Western Province

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Substitutes: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Kobus van Dyk, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Werner Kok, 23 Dan Kriel

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