Esterhuizen skippers Sharks, Nohamba gets first Super Rugby start

Esterhuizen skippers Sharks, Nohamba gets first Super Rugby start

Springbok centre Andre Esterhuizen will captain the Sharks in their Super Rugby clash with the Rebels in Melbourne on Saturday.

Andre Esterhuizen
Steve Haag Sports via Hollywoodbets

The burly inside centre takes over the leadership duties with regular captain and outside centre Lukhanyo Am out of the matchday 23 this week. Jeremy Ward replaces the World Cup winner in the number 13 jumper.

Another notable change to the starting XV is the elevation of scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba from the bench this week.  He replaces the experienced Louis Schreuder who swaps out to join the reserves this weekend. Nohamba's form in his first three Super Rugby appearances has been rewarded. Last week the scrumhalf had to play more than 60 minutes at flyhalf after Boeta Chamberlain was concussed.

The 20-year-old showed his versatility and composure by performing well under pressure and Everitt seemingly has no choice but to give the young prospect a well-earned start this weekend.

Thomas du Toit, who missed last week’s loss to the Hurricanes due to a short illness, returns to start in the front row. So does Ox Nche, who was moved to the bench to provide cover at tighthead last week. 

Curwin Bosch also returns to the starting lineup at flyhalf. He had returned home to Durban late last week and missed Saturday’s match against the Hurricanes due to a family bereavement. 

Makazole Mapimpi came through concussion protocol testing after a knock to the head ended his participation in last Saturday’s match in the first half. The Springbok starts in his regular position on the left wing.

Speaking from their base in Melbourne earlier this week, Esterhuizen conceded that a number of disruptions last week may have led to the end result against the Hurricanes but the stand-in skipper stayed clear of using it as an excuse for the performance. 

“We never spoke after the game about the injuries or disruptions, the guys have all trained well throughout the pre-season and we’re not going to use that as an excuse. But obviously it does have an effect on the team, especially when you have to get guys onto the bench who weren’t expecting to play,” Esterhuizen said.

Springbok and Sharks veteran Lwazi Mvovo joined the squad in Australia as cover for Chamberlain, who returned home to recover from concussion earlier this week. Mvovo comes straight onto the bench this week as cover for the Sharks back three.

Sharks team (15-1): Aphelele Fassi, Madosh Tambwe, Jeremy Ward, Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi, Curwin Bosch, Sanele Nohamba, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Tyler Paul, James Venter, Hyron Andrews, Ruben van Heerden, Thomas du Toit, Kerron van Vuuren, Ox Nche.
Replacements: Craig Burden, Mzamo Majola, John-Hubert Meyer, Le Roux Roets, Henco Venter,Louis Schreuder, Marius Louw, Lwazi Mvovo.

Show's Stories