Super Rugby

'Beast' to make Super Rugby history against Bulls

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Tendai Mtawarira (Gallo Images)
Tendai Mtawarira (Gallo Images)

Durban - Stalwart prop Beast Mtawarira will make history this week as he equals Adriaan Strauss' record as the most capped South African Super Rugby player.

Mtawarira has been named in the starting line-up for Saturday's clash against the Bulls at Kings Park.

After this match, Mtawarira and Strauss would have both featured in 156 Super Rugby fixtures. 

Retired Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett holds the overall record with 202 matches played for the nine-time champions.

Strauss represented the Cheetahs and then the Bulls, but Mtawarira has accomplished this record for just one team, the Sharks, since making his debut in 2007 and will break the record South African record in his next appearance.  

In other selection news, Craig Burden is poised to make his return to Super Rugby action after leaving the Sharks in 2013, having been named on the bench for this weekend.

The burly hooker, who started his career as a centre, played for the Sharks between 2006 and 2013 before embarking on a five-year career in France, representing Toulon, Montpellier and Stade Français.  

Burden was initially supposed to play his comeback match in last weekend's clash against the Rebels, but he was withdrawn at the final hour with a niggle. 

Head coach Robert du Preez has made just two changes to the starting line-up this week with Luke Stringer replacing Phepsi Buthelezi at flank and Lwazi Mvovo coming onto the wing in place of Sbu Nkosi. 

There is also a first call-up of the season for Philip van der Walt who returned from Japan with an injury, but is now back to full fitness and will join Burden in making an impact off the bench. 

Teams:

Sharks 

15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Lwazi Mvovo, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Luke Stringer, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira 

Substitutes: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Philip van der Walt, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Kobus van Wyk, 23 Curwin Bosch

Bulls

15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handre Pollard (captain), 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Lizo Gqoboka

Substitutes: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Conrad van Vuuren, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Tim Agaba, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Johnny Kotze

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