Sharks pick strong team for Currie Cup opener despite Covid-19 hurdles
DURBAN - Thomas du Toit is back from injury to anchor the Sharks scrum in their Currie Cup opener against the Pumas in Durban on Friday night.
And despite 10 players being unavailable for Covid-19 reasons, Sean Everitt has been able to name a strong side although the coach has been forced to pick lock JJ van der Mescht on the flank.
“JJ adds bulk to our pack and we believe that he has the necessary skill set to excel in that position,” Everitt said. “It is an experiment to see how he goes in the absence of players like Henco Venter and Phepsi Buthelezi.
“He partners Thembelani Bholi at No 8 while Dylan Richardson continues in the open side role where he has played very well over the last few weeks and deserves to retain his place.”
There is only one change in the backline where Manie Libbok comes in for injured fullback Anthony Volmink.
There are a number of changes on the bench, with former Griquas prop Khwezi Mona coming in on a rotational basis and SA Under-20 tighthead prop Hanro Jacobs getting his first opportunity due to the unavailability of the established tightheads.
No 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe returns after isolation protocols while SA Sevens player Zain Davids gets an opportunity off the bench.
Springbok wing Sbu Nkosi has to be content with a role off the bench after being forced to miss training while awaiting results of a routine Covid-19 test.
15 Manie Libbok 14 Yaw Penxe 13 Jeremy Ward 12 Marius Louw 11 Madosh Tambwe 10 Curwin Bosch 9 Sanele Nohamba 8 Thembelani Boli 7 JJ van der Mescht 6 Dylan Richardson 5 Hyron Andrews 4 Ruben van Heerden 3 Thomas du Toit 2 Kerron van Vuuren 1 Oc Nche
Bench: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Khwezi Mona, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Zain Davids, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Werner Kok, 23 Sbu Nkosi.