Sharks Super rugby head coach Robert du Preez has named a team with six changes for Saturday’s match against the Waratahs in Sydney.
With rotation and picking the strongest team possible for the match in mind, Du Preez has included Ruan Botha and Akker van der Merwe on the bench.
Upfront Thomas du Toit comes in for Coenie Oosthuizen while Jean-Luc du Preez replaces Jacques Vermeulen, with the remainder of the changes in the backline where Cameron Wright starts to give Louis Schreuder a hard-earned rest (although he is selected on the bench), forming a new half-back partnership with Curwin Bosch who starts at flyhalf with Robert du Preez playing off the bench.
Makazole Mapimpi in for Lwazi Mvovo on the wing and Lukhanyo Am replacing Kobus van Wyk, back after a week’s mandatory rest, are the final two changes.
Head coach Robert du Preez explains of his changes that, “The plan was to rotate and make changes to the team, we need to make sure that everyone is engaged on this tour.
We have a 27-man squad and it’s important that every single player feels that they have an opportunity to play and to contribute.
“There are a few players in our squad who have played a lot of games and we have been resting some in the last few weeks.
There are a couple of guys who have played 80-minute games and we’re looking at managing their practice and more specifically game-time appropriately.”
Reflecting on what needs to change for this match, he pinpointed the dual processes of individual errors and execution against the Reds as proving costly.
“That was a game that could have gone either way. We conceded two soft tries that came through individual errors, so it’s not a system issue. On attack, we had two clear chances to score tries and didn’t execute them, and some others too. It comes down to execution at the end of the day.”
“We have a very strong playing 23 with a really solid bench and we’re looking forward to a strong showing against the Waratahs.”
15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Tendai Mtawarira (captain)
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Ruan Botha, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Robert du Preez, 23 Marius Louw