Sharks call-up big guns for Bulls warmup
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Sharks call-up big guns for Bulls warmup

The Sharks have called up a number of senior players for their final preseason hit-out against the Bulls this coming Saturday.

Coenie Oosthuizen
Gallo Images

  

The two sides will clash in an exhibition match at Ashton College in Ballito, just a week before the Super Rugby season gets underway.

Sharks coach Robert du Preez had hinted that he’d be selecting some of his Springboks who hadn’t featured in a very successful Super Hero Sunday double-header in Cape Town last weekend. The team was released today, confirming the return of some big-name players in the starting XV.

Upfront, Springboks Beast Mtawarira and Coenie Oosthuizen pack down at loosehead and tighthead respectively while Akker van der Merwe starts at hooker.

Ruan Botha also returns to the starting XV in the number 5 jumper while the Sharks loose trio remains the same from Sunday’s 19-14 loss to the Lions. 

Louis Schreuder and Curwin Bosch continue their half back partnership this weekend, as do centres Marius Louw and Lukhanyo Am. The only other change to the backline sees young Aphelele Fassi start at fullback.

The Sharks have selected a full 33-man squad for the match. Notable inclusions there are Rob du Preez Jr and Andre Esterhuizen, who were given an extended break after short stints in England and Japan respectively.

Flank Phillip van der Walt is the only real injury concern. He’s been given more time to recover from a knock he took while playing in Japan over the festive season.

Sharks team (15-1): Aphelele Fassi, Sbu Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am, Marius Louw, Makazole Mapimpi, Curwin Bosch, Louis Schreuder, Dan du Preez, Tyler Paul, Jacques Vermeulen, Ruan Botha, Hyron Andrews, Coenie Oosthuizen, Akker van der Merwe, Beast Mtawarira.

Replacements: Juan Schoeman, Fezo Mbatha, Khutha Mchunu, Ruben van Heerden, Gideon Koegelenberg, Wian Vosloo, Luke Stringer, Phepsi Buthelezi, Cameron Wright, Robert du Preez, Lwazi Mvovo, Andre Esterhuizen, Jeremy Ward, Leolin Zas, Courtney Winnaar, Kerron van Vuuren, Grant Williams, Rhyno Smith.

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