Currie Cup

Sharks name Ndungane at fullback for Currie Cup clash

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The Sharks have named veteran Springbok winger Odwa Ndungane in his new position of fullback for their Currie Cup opening match against Griquas in Durban on Friday.

There are four debutantes in the matchday 22 — winger Sizo Maseko, veteran lock Marco Wentzel and fellow second row partner Edwin Hewitt, as well as Rayno Gerber, who is on the bench.

The match is the first of the new Brendan Venter-John Smit era, with the former Springboks taking over the KwaZulu-Natal union as director of rugby and chief executive officer respectively.

“We were very impressed with Odwa in training, his conditioning is fantastic and he’s a leader,” Venter said.

“We see him primarily as a fullback now.

“He will help to give our backline some zip as well. He’s experienced, he organises the backs and he kicks the ball out of hand beautifully.”

Another veteran, Butch James, partners Charl McLeod at number nine and 10, while Tim Whitehead returns after a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a knee injury.

“Griquas are a clever outfit, they know how to do well in the Currie Cup, they’ve recruited a lot of old hands, senior players, clever players and it will be a tough start for us,” Venter added.

“We look forward to it and we want to measure ourselves against these people and see how good we can be.”

No Springboks are available due to international duty, while the team will once again be led by Keegan Daniel.

Sharks

Odwa Ndungane, Sizo Maseko, Louis Ludik, Tim Whitehead, Lwazi Mvovo, Butch James, Charl McLeod, Keegan Daniel (captain), Jean Deysel, Brynard Stander, Marco Wentzel, Edwin Hewitt, Wiehahn Herbst, Kyle Cooper, Dale Chadwick.

Replacements: Craig Burden, Rayno Gerber, Peet Marais, Tera Mtembu, Cobus Reinach, Fred Zeilinga, Jaco van Tonder.

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