Sharks back Lwazi Mvovo will earn his 100th Super Rugby cap when he runs out for the Sharks against the Reds in Brisbane on Friday.
Sharks head coach Robert du Preez’s has kept his promise to reward players who have performed in pre-season.
Patrick Lambie will lead with Tera Mtembu deputising a team with a strong mix of youth and experience. Young players who have shone have been given the opportunity to impress further and there is a healthy look to the side.
“We rewarded the guys that have really done well so far – there were no surprises,” said du Preez from Brisbane on the Sharks site.
“I think this is an exciting side and I’m really looking forward to seeing how we go on Friday. It’s going to be a tough challenge.”
Lwazi Mvovo will run out to join a select group of centurions and our coach expressed his joy at this accomplishment.
“I’m very pleased for Lwazi on gaining his 100th Super Rugby cap – that’s a massive achievement. He’s a guy who always sets high standards for himself and it’s great to have a guy with that sort of experience in our set-up who always sets a good example for the young guys in the team. Hopefully we’ll give him a good present on Friday night.”
Looking at the Reds, du Preez acknowledged what they are up against.
“They have assembled a really good squad: Stephen Moore, the Australian captain is with them, as is George Smith, Scott Higginbotham and some really good backs. It’s going to be a very different proposition this time around.”
Not only against a strong team but also within the context of playing conditions.
“They played the Rebels in a pre-season match last week and we looked at that game – it was very hot, I believe temperatures were around the 40°C mark, so we’re expecting pretty much the same conditions with the humidity as we have in Durban,” du Preez concluded.
1 Tendai Mtawarira , 2 Franco Marais, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen , 4 Etienne Oosthuizen , 5 Ruan Botha , 6 Philip van der Walt , 7 Jean- Luc du Pree, 8 Tera Mtembu (Vice-Captain) , 9 Cobus Reinach , 10 Patrick Lambie (Captain) , 11 Lwazi Mvovo , 12 Andre Esterhuizen , 13 Lukhanyo Am , 14 Kobus van Wyk , 15 Curwin Bosch
Replacements : 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit,18 Lourens Adriaanse,19 Stephan Lewies,20 Jacques Vermeulen,21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward,23 Clement Poitrenaud,