JP returns to strong Sharks line-up

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JP Pietersen Apr 23 AFP JP Pietersen returns to the Sharkss starting XV for their Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders at Kings Park in Durban on Friday. Photo: Lionel Bonaventure

Durban – JP Pietersen and Paul Jordaan have returned to the Sharks’s starting XV for their Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders at Kings Park in Durban on Friday.

Springbok wing Pietersen was a late withdrawal ahead of last week’s 19-8 win over the Cheetahs with a hamstring injury and is back in the place of Jaco van Tonder, who took his place.

Centre Jordaan returns after a knee injury, slotting himself into midfield for S’bura Sithole, the latter shifting wide to take over from the injured Tonderai Chavhanga.

Director of rugby Jake White said he was tempted to make more changes, but the logical option was to keep the bulk of his table-topping team unchanged and try and end their home run on a high.

“It was such short week in terms of the turnaround time, to make changes will probably count against us,” he said on Wednesday.

“We've obviously tried to keep things as much as they were. We’ve got Paul Jordaan back and JP, which obviously boosts our backline a bit.”

Keegan Daniel retained his place in the line-up ahead of Ryan Kankowski, who stays on the bench, and will win his 100th cap for the coastal franchise.

The Sharks leave for their four-game trip to Australasia over the weekend, where they will play the Rebels, Brumbies, Crusaders and Blues.

“We’re playing at home again before we go away and I didn’t want to change things too much,” White said.

“We can probably tweak things as we go through the tour.”

The Sharks team: Lwazi Mvovo, JP Pietersen, Paul Jordaan, Frans Steyn, S'bura Sithole, Tim Swiel, Charl McLeod, Keegan Daniel, Jean Deysel, Marcell Coetzee, Stephan Lewies, Willem Alberts, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis (captain), Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: Kyle Cooper, Dale Chadwick, Lourens Adriaanse, Etienne Oosthuizen, Ryan Kankowski, Stefan Ungerer, Heimar Williams, SP Marais. – Sapa



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