Super Rugby

April starts for Sharks against Lions

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Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold has named Garth April at flyhalf for this weekend’s crucial Super Rugby match against the Lions in Johannesburg.

The Sharks are second in the Africa 2 Conference and need to beat the Lions to remain in contention for the play offs.

April comes into the to side replacing Patrick Lambie who was injured playing for the Springboks.

Lambie still under observation following his injury in the first Springbok Test against Ireland.

Pat has not passed the concussion graduated return to play protocol and will be re-tested next week while Joe Pietersen has a shoulder fracture with an approximate layoff of 6 weeks.

Willie le Roux is unavailable for selection due to suspension so Gold has named Odwa Ndungane at fullback. The team will be captained by Tendai Mtawarira

Looking ahead to the Lions Director of Rugby, Gary Gold said, “They are a fantastic team and we have a huge amount of respect for them.”

“We know how good they are with ball in hand and the questions they ask on defence.

“We want to focus our attention on our own game and our players have returned to training in high spirits with renewed energy and focus.

“It is important for us to utilise our opportunities and ask questions of our own. The set-piece battle is going to be important and it will lay the foundation for us to launch our attacks off.

“It’s crunch time in the competition and we are looking forward to the challenge of playing an in-form Lions team. We remain committed to improving from where we left off before the June break.”

Fans may well also get a look at 23 year old NWU-Pukke fullback Rhyno Smith who has been named on the bench. He was crowned the overall Player that Rocks for the 2015 Varsity Cup and is an exciting young prospect.

Sharks

15. Odwa Ndungane , 14. JP Pietersen , 13. Paul Jordaan , 12. Andre Esterhuizen , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 10. Garth April , 9. Michael Claassens , 8. Philip van der Walt , 7. Jean-Luc du Preez , 6. Keegan Daniel , 5. Stephan Lewies , 4. Etienne Oosthuizen , 3. Lourens Adriaanse , 2. Franco Marais , 1. Tendai Mtawarira (C)

Replacements : 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle , 17. Thomas du Toit , 18. Coenie Oosthuizen , 19. Ruan Botha , 20. Tera Mtembu , 21. Stefan Ungerer , 22. Rhyno Smith , 23. S’bura Sithole

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