Siya Kolisi during a Sharks training session at Kings Park Stadium in Durban on 23 February 2021. Photo: Steve Haag Sports via BackpagePix
Siya Kolisi during a Sharks training session at Kings Park Stadium in Durban on 23 February 2021. Photo: Steve Haag Sports via BackpagePix

‘Different’ No 6 role for Siya Kolisi on Sharks debut against Bulls

By Ashfak Mohamed Time of article published Mar 25, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Siya Kolisi will finally make his Sharks debut in Friday’s preparation clash against the Bulls in Durban.

The Springbok captain made a high-profile move from the Stormers to the Sharks recently, but has been in a conditioning programme designed to get him up to full fitness.

But on Thursday, Sharks coach Sean Everitt brought him straight into the starting line-up at No 6 for the Kings Park encounter (7pm kickoff), where he will form a strong ball-carrying loose trio alongside Henco Venter and former Stormers teammate Sikhumbuzo Notshe.

“James Venter is unfortunately out injured, and Dylan Richardson is not well at this stage, so Siya gets a start in the six jersey. He will be fulfilling a different type of six role than he did at Western Province, so we are hoping that he can come through well and do a good job for us as a six,” Everitt said.

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The Sharks mentor has picked most of his first-choice players in what is the final warm-up game before next month’s Rainbow Cup, which sees Bok props Ox Nche and Thomas du Toit restored to the front row, while Fez Mbatha starts at hooker.

It is an all-new lock pairing as well, with the two unrelated Van Heerdens, Ruben and Emile, coming in for Le Roux Roets and Reniel Hugo.

In the backline, Marius Louw is back at inside centre and Sbu Nkosi returns at No 14.

Curwin Bosch sustained a thumb injury at training on Wednesday and will undergo scans today, which sees Boeta Chamberlain continue at flyhalf, while Jaden Hendrikse comes in at scrumhalf.

An interesting selection is former Lions wing Anthony Volmink at fullback, with regular No 15 Aphelele Fassi on the bench.

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Everitt explained on Thursday that Fassi has had some game time recently, and that he wants to see what Volmink can offer.

“Anthony came to the Sharks as a fullback. We also knew that he can fulfil a role on the wing, and he had two opportunities at wing. So, it is his turn to have a go at fullback. Aphelele Fassi played in the last four games in the Currie Cup, and all three games in the preparation cup. Anthony Volmink would be his natural replacement, so he steps in to get some valuable game time at fullback,” he said.

“Very similar to Fassi – he’s also got a left foot, so it’s going to be a nice opportunity for Anthony to get some game time in his preferred position.”

Loosehead prop Ntuthuko Mchunu, who scored a sensational try as a replacement against the Lions last week, misses out on the match-23, with Everitt saying he is continuing on a “growth process” following his conversion from No 8.

Sharks Team

15 Anthony Volmink 14 Sbu Nkosi 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain) 12 Marius Louw 11 Yaw Penxe 10 Boeta Chamberlain 9 Jaden Hendrikse 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe 7 Henco Venter 6 Siya Kolisi 5 Emile van Heerden 4 Ruben van Heerden 3 Thomas du Toit 2 Fez Mbatha 1 Ox Nche.

Bench: 16 Kerron van Vuuren 17 Mzamo Majola 18 John-Hubert Meyer 19 JJ van der Mescht 20 Phepsi Buthelezi 21 Sanele Nohamba 22 Rynhardt Jonker 23 Aphelele Fassi.

@ashfakmohamed

IOL Sport

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