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Sharks bring their Boks back for Lions

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Sharks Super rugby head coach Robert du Preez has thrown his Springbok players straight back into action for this weekend’s match against the Lions on Saturday at Kings park.

One of those is wing Sbu Nkosi who put in one outstanding performance for the Springboks after another.

The 22-year-old set the international rugby scene alight with some electric performances for the Springboks in the Test series against England and now can’t wait to get stuck into Super Rugby action again.

Looking back, he admits that June was a very memorable month for him, having made his Springbok debut and a start of what should be a long and rewarding international career.

“I haven’t really had time to reflect yet because my focus is on the next job and to perform at my highest standard,” said Nkosi.

“But it was a great time for me, even if I must put it behind me and shift my attention to playing for my franchise.

“As a rugby player, I believe I’ve grown a lot, skill-wise and conditioning, the high intensity training can only benefit me in Super Rugby. Also, being around good men with lots of experience, I’ve grown personally too: how to conduct myself in the team environment.”

On Saturday, some of the players he has enormous amounts of respect for will be sworn enemies from the Lions’ camp.

“This is business, nothing personal,” he said. “It’s my franchise against yours and we’ll put friendship aside for now until after the game. It’s game on, especially when you are passionate about your union.”

There is plenty of motivation to beat the top South African side; the Lions have enjoyed a run of success against local sides stretching back a couple of seasons now.

“Their successes against the other franchises isn’t something we’ve spoken about in the camp, but inside all of us we know we’ve owed the Lions one for a while now.

“It’s a big South African derby, we all expect fireworks when the Sharks play the Lions, but we’re all up for it.”

Not only is it about pride but also the fact that the Sharks are playing for a place in the knock-out rounds too.

“That’s good motivation, especially as we know everything is still in our hands and we’re not dependant on any other results to influence our qualification. It’s a good reason to keep it tight and win this game.”

Sharks

15. Curwin Bosch, 14. Sbu Nkosi, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Cameron Wright, 8. Daniel du Preez, 7. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Philip van der Walt, 5. Ruan Botha (c), 4. Tyler Paul, 3. Thomas du Toit, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 1. Tendai Mtawarira,

Replacements , 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17. Juan Schoeman, 18. Ross Geldenhuys, 19. Hyron Andrews, 20. Jacques Vermeulen, 21. Louis Schreuder, 22. Marius Louw, 23. Lwazi Mvovo

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