Powell on full-strength Sharks squad for 'tough' Bordeaux clash: 'It's great to have everybody back"

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Neil Powell. (Photo Mandatory Credit Steve Haag/Gallo Images)
Neil Powell. (Photo Mandatory Credit Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

After losing to Connacht in a United Rugby Championship clash last week in a match in which many of their top guns weren't available, the Sharks face Bordeaux this week in a Champions Cup clash with a full-strength squad.

Speaking to the media after announcing his team to face the French side, Powell said that rotation has always been the aim with the Sharks having to play 11 weekends in a row. 

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"It's great to have everybody back, and obviously, it was all part of the plan, even before we started this 11-game block [of fixtures]," Powell said. "The reason why we did it [send an inexperienced side to Ireland last week] was to get the guys as fresh as possible for the next four games before we get a bye.

Sharks team:

15 Boeta Chamberlain, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16. Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg

Powell said that although the Sharks were at home, Bordeaux was going to be a tough nut to crack and having a full-strength squad available for the clash was critical. 

"It's great to select the 23 that is available for us this weekend to play Bordeaux, one of the top teams in the Top 14," said Powell.

"They are tough opposition to play against, they are very unpredictable and like to try and get you unstructured in your defence, and they are attacking.

"In the way that they play, they also give you opportunities. Hopefully, the 23 we have selected can do the job for us."

The match in Durban kicks off at 17:15 on Saturday. 

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