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Viljoen's pivotal role for Sharks

Thu, 11 Jul 2013 12:14
Riaan-viljoen-sharks-ball Lambie630 Butch-and-jaftha630 Riaanviljoensharkstraining2
They don't give up
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The Sharks have been forced to reshuffle the deck ahead of their final Super Rugby match of the season, against the Southern Kings in Durban on Saturday.

The injury of Springbok Patrick Lambie (back strain) and the suspension of veteran Andrew James (four weeks for a dangerous tackle) have resulted in a number of backline changes.

Riaan Viljoen, who is heading to Japan to play for the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes after this week, will start at flyhalf, with Odwa Ndungane at fullback.

Meyer Bosman, who is departing for Stade Francais after the weekend, takes over at centre.

JP Pietersen is also back from injury and he will play on the wing.

Willem Alberts has been cleared to play, after fitness doubts earlier in the week, but he has been relegated to the bench. Keegan Daniel returns at No.8 and takes over the captaincy from the suspended James.

The final change comes on the bench, with Fred Zeilinga named as midfield back-up in place of Jaco van Tonder.

For either side there is nothing more than pride riding on the match.

However, stand-in coach Hugh Reece-Edwards believes there will be plenty of passion on the Kings Park turf.

"If you look at the Kings, they've played pretty well this season and they gave the Stormers a bit of a fright last Saturday," Reece-Edwards said.

"When we played them last, we thought it might have been a bit easier and we were perhaps a bit too conservative and made too many mistakes.

"They've proven that they are a tough side to beat, they don't give up and have the best tackle percentage in the competition.

"With that in mind, we can really expect a hard game.

"In two weeks' time they also have a promotion-relegation series, but we can't worry about whether or not that might be in the back of their minds. We've got to think about one thing and that's this game, and then from there it's a new campaign."

Sharks: 15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Louis Ludik, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Riaan Viljoen, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Edwin Hewitt, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandré Marais, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Fred Zeilinga.

Date: Saturday, 13 July
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Reuben Rossouw (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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