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Oosthuizen and Mtawarira return for Sharks against Reds

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Durban’s Sharks have included Springboks Coenie Oosthuizen and Tendai Mtawarira in their Super rugby starting line up to play the Reds on Friday at Kings park.

The Springbok pair replace Juan Schoeman and Thomas du Toit, who move to the bench. The other change in the pack sees Jacques Vermeulen back from a well-earned break and he is in at flank for Luke Stringer.


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There are changes in the backline where Kobus van Wyk replaces Lukhanyo Am and forms a new midfield partnership with Andre Esterhuizen while Lwazi Mvovo moves across to the wing position vacated by Makazole Mapimpi with Sbu Nkosi returning to the side in the final change to the starting line-up. Both Am and Mapimpi have been rested for this match.

Sharks assistant coach Braam van Straaten said of last week’s game : “This is not how we want to play, not what we want to show our fans who come here to watch us perform to the best of our abilities and that’s not how we can reward them for their support.

“We didn’t pitch, mentally we weren’t there and got beaten up at every opportunity,” he added. “We didn’t face up and that’s the disappointing part of it.”

“The senior players have taken ownership and come Friday, I think it will be a different story.”

There is a short turnaround week for the team because of the Friday game and van Straaten admitted that it was important to get over the disappointment of the Jaguares game and focus on the Reds.

“We’re going to have to be really, really on top of our game. They’re a good side, coached by an ex-All Black and they’re a tough side to break down. We will be up for the challenge.”

Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi have been rested for this match.

Sharks

15. Curwin Bosch, 14. Sbu Nkosi, 13. Kobus van Wyk, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Louis Schreuder (c), 8. Daniel du Preez, 7. Jacques Vermeulen, 6. Philip van der Walt, 5. Hyron Andrews, 4. Ruben van Heerden, 3. Coenie Oosthuizen, 2. Kerron van Vuuren, 1. Beast Mtawarira

Replacements : 16. Fez Mbatha, 17. Juan Schoeman, 18. Thomas du Toit, 19. Tyler Paul, 20. Jean-Luc du Preez, 21. Cameron Wright, 22. Marius Louw, 23. Aphelele Fassi

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