Curwin Bosch can prove a point to Sharks coach, ‘Beast’ makes history
Curwin Bosch has finally been given a chance to showcase his undoubted class after being named at fullback for the Sharks’ clash against the Lions at Ellis Park on Friday.
Bosch has been out of favour with coach Robert du Preez, who has preferred his son Robert Junior at flyhalf and Aphelele Fassi at fullback this season.
But two-Test Springbok Bosch will have an opportunity to prove to his franchise coach, as well as Bok boss Rassie Erasmus what he is capable of.
He will come up against another Test player in Andries Coetzee at Ellis Park on Friday night (7.10pm), with the latter also recalled to the Lions starting line-up at No 15.
Bosch is arguably a better flyhalf than he is a fullback, but coach Du Preez has kept faith with Robert Junior at No 10 despite a disappointing display in the 19-16 loss to the Bulls last Saturday.
Nevertheless, Bosch – who has been linked with a move to the Stormers – will have to display his prodigious kicking ability, as well as his speed and creativity on attack from the back.
Equally important will be his defensive duties, as that is the weakest part of his game, and one that he needs to improve on drastically if he wants to be part of the Springbok Rugby World Cup squad in Japan later this year.
In the other change to the starting line-up, Kerron van Vuuren comes in at hooker for the suspended Akker van der Merwe, who received a three-match ban for punching Bulls No 2 Schalk Brits last weekend.
The @CellC Sharks visit the South African conference leaders, the Emirates @LionsRugbyCo at Emirates Airline Park this weekend, as they face off in a Superhero derby.💪— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) April 2, 2019
Kick-off is 19:10, so be sure to tune in and enjoy the action! 🏉#LIOvSHA #WakandaForever pic.twitter.com/gsJoLPHW3C
Veteran prop Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira will also make history when he takes to the field on Friday night, as he will become the most-capped South African player in Super Rugby with his 157th appearance for the Sharks.
He will surpass the 156-mark set by former Bulls and Cheetahs hooker Adriaan Strauss.
15 Curwin Bosch 14 Lwazi Mvovo 13 Lukhanyo Am 12 André Esterhuizen 11 Makazole Mapimpi 10 Robert du Preez 9 Louis Schreuder (captain) 8 Dan du Preez 7 Jacques Vermeulen 6 Luke Stringer 5 Hyron Andrews 4 Ruben van Heerden 3 Coenie Oosthuizen 2 Kerron van Vuuren 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Bench: 16 Fez Mbatha 17 Juan Schoeman 18 Thomas du Toit 19 JJ van der Mescht 20 Philip van der Walt 21 Grant Williams 22 Kobus van Wyk 23 Aphelele Fassi.@ashfakmohamed