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Rugby | Currie Cup

Sharks select their Boks

The Vodacom Blue Bulls have said they won’t be selecting their Springboks for Saturday’s Currie Cup clash in Durban but their opponents, the Cell C Sharks, have taken the opposite approach.

Daniel du Preez returns at No 8 for the first time in the domestic season and his fellow Bok traveller, hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle, will be packing down in the front row as the Sharks go in search of the victory that should virtually assure them of a top place finish on the log.

The Sharks will also have new Bok selection S’busiso Nkosi in action in the Kings Park match. Although Nkosi is only so far included in the extended squad for the home Rugby Championship clashes with Australia and New Zealand, a good performance on the wing could go some way towards clinching him a spot in the match day group.

The other new Bok selection, scrumhalf Louis Schreuder, is not in the Sharks squad this week as he has been given leave to attend a family function. He is replaced in the starting team by Michael Claassens. Also missing from the Sharks team this week are key backline players Kobus van Wyk and Lukhanyo Am, both of whom have joined Inny Radebe on the injury list.

The Sharks are a long way ahead of the rest of the teams on the log but that does not mean that there will be any let up in intensity. On the contrary, as the play-off phase of the season draws nearer coach Robert du Preez is looking for his men to up their game in preparation for the business end.

“The knock-out phases are drawing closer and we have spoken about the need to up the tempo and take our game to the next level,” said Du Preez.

“Last week against Griquas was a step in the right direction and I was pleased with the attitude shown by our players. At the same time though we need to cut down on our error rate and be more clinical in taking our opportunities in the opposition 22. The energy in the team is fantastic and everyone is looking forward to playing at home and making our supporters proud.”

Cell C Sharks team: Garth April, Odwa Ndungane, Jeremy Nel, Marius Louw, S’busiso Nkosi, Curwin Bosch, Michael Claassens, Dan du Preez, Jacques Vermeulen, Keegan Daniel, Ruan Botha (captain), Tyler Paul, Ross Geldenhuys, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Thomas du Toit. Replacements: Franco Marais, Juan Schoeman, Jean Droste, Tera Mtembu, Cameron Wright, Tristan Blewett, Rhyno Smith.


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