JP Pietersen has returned to the Sharks and will play in the Currie Cup. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

DURBAN – The Sharks on Tuesday named their team to play Griquas in the opening round of the 2019 Currie Cup competition at King’s Park in Durban on Friday night.

Newly-appointed Currie Cup coach Sean Everitt hasn’t hesitated in naming several youngsters on the bench, but it is in the starting line-up where we see familiar faces.

Ten players in Friday evening’s starting line-up played in the Super Rugby quarterfinal match against the Brumbies, with a total of 13 from the matchday 23, which allows for continuity.

Two players who cut their teeth at the Sharks, one a Rugby World Cup winner, have been named in the matchday 23.

JP Pietersen’s arrival from France has been a revelation and he will start alongside co-captain Jeremy Ward at outside centre, while Craig Burden plays off the bench as the replacement hooker.

Ward’s co-captain Tera Mtembu is part of a quality pack that will no doubt be tested against the tough Griquas forwards, who will relish the opportunity to have a go at their Durban counterparts.

The Sharks backline also has an exciting but very settled look about it.

The Sharks team: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Jeremy Ward (co-captain), 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Tera Mtembu (co-captain), 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Luke Stringer, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Juan Schoeman.

Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Rhyno Smith. 

African News Agency (ANA)