DURBAN -In the final alignment camp for the Springboks, a total of 15 Sharks players have been invited to showcase their potential for new Springbok coach, Rassie Erasmus, in Durban from 22 to 25 April.
There are six players who are uncapped joining the camp, including Sbu Nkosi, André Esterhuizen, Robert du Preez, Cameron Wright, Thomas du Toit and Akker van der Merwe.
A total of 22 players from the Stormers and Lions were present at the second camp which took place two weeks ago, while 12 Bulls players attended the first camp.
“We managed to work through a lot of technical detail during our first two camps and the various sessions with the Sharks players will be equally intensive,” explained Erasmus.
“We saw during the other two camps that the players appreciate the technical discussions and the clarification of our approach for the forthcoming international season, starting with Wales in Washington and the home series against England. Similar to the other two camps, we will also have a couple of the Sharks coaches in attendance over the four days in Umhlanga.”
No on-field activities are planned for the camps and the focus of the various sessions is exclusively on alignment, which will ensure a smooth transition from Super Rugby to the Springboks when the squad gets together for the June internationals.
Regular Springboks Beast Mtawarira, Coenie Oosthuizen (despite still being injured), Chiliboy Ralepelle, Daniel and Jean-Luc du Preez are invited from the forwards. However, captain Ruan Botha is a notable exception.
In the backs, Louis Schreuder, Lukhanyo Am, Curwin Bosch are all Boks, with a few caps, while Lwazi Mvovo is the experienced man to be invited. Makazole Mapimpi is a name that many thought had a shot of Bok glory while still at the Cheetahs, but the speedster has fallen out of favour at with the Sharks management.
Selected Sharks players:
Forwards: Tendai Mtawarira (prop), Coenie Oosthuizen (prop), Thomas du Toit (prop), Chiliboy Ralepelle (hooker), Akker van der Merwe (hooker), Jean-Luc du Preez (loose forward), Dan du Preez (loose forward).
Backs: Louis Schreuder (scrumhalf), Cameron Wright (scrumhalf), Robert du Preez (flyhalf), André Esterhuizen (centre), Lukhanyo Am (centre), Lwazi Mvovo (wing), Sbu Nkosi (wing), Curwin Bosch (fullback).