Springbok Duane Vermeulen to skipper Ulster against Sharks

Ulster’s Duane Vermeulen on the run during a United Rugby Championship match

Duane Vermeulen will captain Ulster in their United Rugby Championship match against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Feb 25, 2023

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Johannesburg - Springbok number eight Duane Vermeulen has been recalled to the Ulster team for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship match against the Sharks in Durban and he will also captain a side depleted by call-ups to Ireland’s Six Nations campaign.

This match is in fact a round-six game that was supposed to have taken place on October 22, but had to be postponed because of illness in the Ulster camp.

Ulster are coming off a 17-11 loss to Glasgow last week and coach Dan McFarland has not been shy to make changes. There are nine of them from the side that went down to the Warriors.

Scotland prop Rory Sutherland returns at loosehead while Springbok Vermeulen, and Ireland-capped full-back Mike Lowry and scrumhalf John Cooney are also welcome boosts.

There are also recalls for winger Aaron Sexton and flyhalf Jake Flannery as they come back from injury, while Under-20 star Harry Sheridan gets an opportunity in the second row.

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Lowry and Sexton make up the back three alongside winger Craig Gilroy, who is promoted from the bench, with Luke Marshall preferred to Hume at outside centre in partnership with Stewart Moore.

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Ulster: 15 Mike Lowry ,14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Luke Marshall, 12 Stewart Moore, 11 Aaron Sexton, 10 Jake Flannery, 9 John Cooney 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Nick Timoney, 6 Jordi Murphy, 5 Harry  Sheridan, 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen 2 John Andrew, 1 Rory Sutherland.

Replacements: 16 Tom Stewart, 17  Andy Warwick, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Cormac Izuchukwu, 20 Dave McCann, 21 Dave Shanahan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Ethan McIlroy.

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