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Rugby | Currie Cup

Sharks have big guns back

Cell C Sharks coach Robert du Preez has recalled his two sons, Daniel and Jean-Luc, to the match day squad for the final Currie Cup league match against DHL Western Province at Kings Park on Saturday.

Also back in the match day squad are hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle and the other Springbok squad member Louis Schreuder. For Jean-Luc it will be his first appearance in the Sharks Currie Cup squad this year as the Sharks take on a powerful look ahead of a match that is effectively a dead rubber in the sense that the Durban side has already secured top spot on the log.

However, Jean-Luc, along with Shreuder and Ralepelle, will be being reintroduced to the team through a bench role this week, with Daniel du Preez being the only member of the quartet down to start.

The Sharks also welcome back big wing Kobus van Wyk, but the former WP man will play off the bench to enable veteran Odwa Ndungane to start his tribute match and bank his 249th cap for the Sharks. Du Preez will be pleased to have Van Wyk in the selection mix though for the following week’s semifinal as Van Wyk has been an influential part of the Sharks' success so far during the domestic season, and before that in Super Rugby.

Lukhanyo Am, selected for the Boks in June but ruled out because of an injury sustained against the Stormers, is back in the Sharks midfield.

The Sharks have been the form team in the competition this year and must be strong favourites to win the Currie Cup but coach Du Preez is working hard on keeping his team grounded in the knowledge that they still have it all to do in terms of getting through the knock-out phase.

“Although we are happy with where we are, we have won nothing yet,” he said after naming his team.

“Hard work still lies ahead of us and this week we need to ensure that we don’t drop the ball. We’ve spoken this entire campaign about improving each week, remaining humble and focused.”

Cell C Sharks team: 15.Garth April, 14.Odwa Ndungane, 13.Lukhanyo Am, 12.Marius Louw, 11.S’busiso Nkosi, 10.Curwin Bosch, 9.Michael Claassens, 8.Dan du Preez, 7.Jacques Vermeulen, 6.Keegan Daniel, 5.Ruan Botha (captain), 4.Tyler Paul, 3.Ross Geldenhuys, 2.Franco Marais,1. Thomas du Toit. Replacements: 16.Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17.Juan Schoeman, 18.Jean Droste, 19.Jean-Luc du Preez, 20.Louis Schreuder, 21.Tristan Blewett, 22.Kobus van Wyk.


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