Le Roux set for first Sharks start

Willie le Roux (Gallo Images)
Willie le Roux (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Fullback Willie le Roux will make his Sharks debut as they take on Toulouse in a pre-season friendly on Thursday. 

The Sharks team, captained by Marcell Coetzee, includes a number of changes from the one that defeated European champions Toulon last week.

With Pat Lambie injured, Garth April will start at flyhalf with the experienced Michael Claassens inside him at scrumhalf.

Other than Lambie, a number of players are not available for selection due to SA Rugby limitations or injury. They include Tendai Mtawarira, Coenie Oosthuizen, Francois Kleinhans, Giant Mtyanda, Lwazi Mvovo and Ruan Botha.

Sharks Director of Rugby, Gary Gold, declared himself happy with the first match on tour but will use this upcoming friendly to experiment with various combinations and improve on the accuracy of the Sharks overall play.

“I was generally happy with our performance against Toulon.  With that being our first hit-out of the season the players were bound to be a bit rusty in certain areas, but overall, I was pleased with the intensity and commitment shown in the match.

“The match against Toulouse gives us another opportunity to test new combinations and work on certain areas, that we weren't as accurate in, last Friday. Toulouse boasts a good squad and they’ll provide the ideal test and preparation we require, ahead of the start of Super Rugby 2016.”

The match kicks-off at 21:45 (SA time).

Sharks team:

15. Willie le Roux, 14. Wandile Mjekevu, 13. Heimar Williams, 12. Johan Deysel, 11. S’bura Sithole, 10. Garth April, 9. Michael Claassens, 8. Christiaan de Bruin, 7. Etienne Oosthuizen, 6. Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5. Hyron Andrews, 4. Dave McDuling, 3. Lourens Adriaanse, 2. Franco Marais, 1. Juan Schoeman
 
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Gerhard Engelbrecht, 18. Daniel du Preez, 19. Jean-Luc du Preez, 20. Cobus Reinach, 21. Stefan Ungerer, 22. Andre Esterhuizen, 23. Paul Jordaan, 24. Odwa Ndungane, 25. Joe Pietersen

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