Sharks get Grant Williams boost ahead of Munster clash

Grant Williams makes a return to the Sharks. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

Grant Williams makes a return to the Sharks. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

Published Apr 21, 2023


Durban - While the Sharks have been boosted by the return to fitness of Springboks in Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Aphelele Fassi for Saturday’s match against Munster, the biggest news is the inclusion of scrumhalf Grant Williams.

The scrumhalf took a head knock in last week’s match against Benetton and was in doubt for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship finale against the Irish team. Williams has been in sensational form and given that Jaden Hendrikse is on the long-term injury list, it would have been a major setback if Williams could not play.

Still, it is also a big boost to have back the firepower of Fassi and Van Rensburg, both of who have returned from injury sooner than expected.

Both will play off the bench as director of rugby Neil Powell has opted for continuity from the side that beat the Italians.

In fact, there is just one change to the starting XV — Jeandre Labuschagne replaces injured Hyron Andrews in the second row.

The Sharks, in eighth place on the log before this final round of the competition, come into this clash with a 50-35 Champions Cup last-16 victory over Munster three weeks ago, also at The Shark Tank.

“I don’t think it’s going to be the same Munster team that rocks up here, especially after the way we played them last time,” Sharks prop Thomas du Toit said. “They will be much better prepared, they would have had some hard, tough conversations in their camp after that game.

“So this is a different ball game, we’re not expecting 50 points – although if it comes, we’ll definitely take it – but we expect a really tough game.”

Sharks team for Munster: 15 Boeta Chamberlain, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Siya Kolisi (capt) 5, Jeandre Labuschagne, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Bongi Mbonambi 1 Ox Nche.

Substitutes: Kerron van Heerden, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Carlu Sadie, Reniel Hugo, Phepsi Buthelezi, Cameron Wright, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Aphelele Fassi