DURBAN - The Sharks will field close to a Super Rugby strength side when they host the Pumas in a Currie Cup match at Kings Park at 5pm on Saturday.
The side will be led by lock Ruan Botha, the robust former Western Province man that has just completed a three-week suspension for an infringement playing for the SA A team against the French Barbarians.
It is an interesting choice of captain by coach Robert du Preez given that he has a highly experienced pack that includes former Super Rugby captain Keegan Daniel, the skipper against the Cheetahs last week in a lamentable loss, who will now pack down at openside flank in a loose trio that includes the Du Preez twins, Daniel and Jean-Luc.
The Sharks have a very experienced side despite the fact that a number of Super Rugby players are either gone for good are off for a pay date in Japan.
The Sharks have nevertheless assembled a very good pack, one that Botha will captain with confidence.
But why is he captaining the side and not Daniel?
“Keegan has captained the side, so has Chiliboy at hooker, but we are looking for continuity going forward,” the coach said.
“It has been asked if we have a difficulty coming down from Super Rugby to Currie Cup level after the match against the Lions in the Super Rugby quarter-final and the answer is very much that the Currie Cup is the premier tournament in South Africa and it is vital that we do well in it,” Du Preez said.
“Our focus has been on taking the positivity out of the Lions game last weekend and taking it into the Currie Cup,” the coach added.
“One thing we have learned (from Super Rugby) is that you can never underestimate the opposition.”