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Sharks start April against Highlanders

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Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold has named Garth April in his Super Rugby starting line up to face Super Rugby champions the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday.

April comes into the #Sharks starting line up at flyhalf and replaces Joe Pietersen who is rotated to the replacements bench.

Gold has also named JP Pietersen at centre where he will partner Andre Esterhuizen. Pietersen’s move to centre sees Odwa Ndungane come in on wing while Lwazi Mvovo and Willie le Roux retain their places.

In the forwards Coenie Oosthuizen returns to the starting line up pushing Lourens Adriaanse to the bench and Keegan Daniel starts for Daniel du Preez who like Paul Jordaan was not considered for selection due to carrying slight niggles from the match against the #Blues.

“I was pleased with our strong first half performance against the Blues and to see our players move the ball around the park,” said Gold ahead of this week’s match.

“We choose to concentrate on the positives and despite the short turn-around to this match, the players are upbeat and there is a real energy and determination that has been evident in our sessions this week.

“It doesn’t get any easier this week, with us facing the reigning SuperRugby champions and we have a huge amount of respect for them. We know the calibre of players the Highlanders have and how dangerous they are around the park.

“We believe we’re moving in the right direction, especially with our youngsters such as the du Preez twins and Franco Marais. We know that against a team like the Highlanders, we need to build phases, look after our ball and take our opportunities. Certain people may have written us off, but the Sharks have always been known for their fighting spirit and the boys are keen to impress this Friday.”

Sharks

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

Replacements , 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle , 17. Thomas du Toit , 18. Lourens Adriaanse , 19. Hyron Andrews , 20. Jean Deysel , 21. Michael Claassens , 22. Joe Pietersen , 23. S’bura Sithole

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