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Sharks name strong team for Sunwolves

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Durban Super rugby team the Sharks have named a strong team to play the Sunwolves in Singapore in their Super rugby opener.

Sharks Super rugby head coach Robert du Preez has also named a number young players on the bench to inject energy towards the end of the game.

Despite playing Curwin Bosch in the pre-seson matches the coach has named Rob du Preez at flyhalf for this match as he was unavailable to tour.

“Rob du Preez was being managed after playing overseas but with the injury in the Bulls game to Curwin Bosch, Rob will start at flyhalf,” he explained.

Other than that, there are no surprises in the team named to front up to the Sunwolves. Louis Schreuder, who missed last Saturday’s game due to illness, has returned and will lead the side on Saturday.

Aside from one debutant in the starting XV, this is a side mixed with grizzled veterans and those who are making a name at this level, having already experienced a season or two of Super Rugby action.

Aphelele Fassi, one of four youngsters making their debuts on Saturday, will start at fullback with Kerron van Vuuren, Khutha Mchunu and Phendulani Buthelezi all coming off the bench, having earned their positions in the match 23 following outstanding performances against the Emirates Lions and Bulls in the two pre-season hit-outs.

“All the youngsters are very excited. They bring a lot of energy, they put a lot of pressure on the guys who have been around a while, so that competition is very healthy,” said du Preez.

“I am sure every one of those players, when given the opportunity, will make the step up.”

“The conditions will be tough with the humidity which make rugby difficult, so we’re going to have to do the basics really well. Our set-piece will have to function, breakdown work is extremely important and we need to be really physical.

“For us, it’s about going there to win.”

Sharks

15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (c), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Phendulani Buthelezi, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Rhyno Smith, 23 Jeremy Ward

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