White to test Sharks' depth

Wed, 15 Jan 2014 13:26
Large andre esterhuizen sharks Large anthony and white.jpg630

The Sharks will use their trip to Saracens later this month test the dept of the squad ahead of the Super Rugby season.

The Sharks will use their trip to Saracens later this month test the dept of the squad ahead of the Super Rugby season.

The 26-man Sharks squad, to play Saracens in a pre-season friendly at Allianz Park in London on Saturday, January 25, will feature more than a dozen Springboks.

These include Lourens Adriaanse, Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Keegan Daniel, Jean Deysel, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Tendai Mtawarira, Charl McLeod, Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndungane and Francois Steyn.

However, Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White made it clear there will be a trial element to the trip.

"This match will provide us with the ideal opportunity to view the depth in our squad as we look to conclude our preparations ahead of the start of the Super Rugby tournament," the World Cup-winning former Bok mentor said.

"It is great to have our Springboks back and available for selection.

"We are expecting a highly-competitive match against Saracens and are looking forward to the encounter."

Bok utility back Patrick Lambie is one of the high-profile names missing from the squad, as he will be attending a wedding.

One young player relishing the opportunity to be a part of the squad is big centre Andre Esterhuizen.

He arrived at The Sharks Academy last year from the Leopards, and although just 19, played in the Vodacom Cup as well as for The Sharks Under-21 last year.

"I had a good season last year and it's great to be training with the senior players now, it's a good experience," he explains enthusiastically.

After representing the Leopards at provincial level through the age grades - Under-13, Under-16 and Under-18 - he decided to seek his fortune in Durban.

"I came to Durban because there is a good level of junior rugby and great structures which bring the younger players through."

He said: "It's great being able to learn from and play with the Springboks in the team, and although I'm a lot younger than them and it has been hard work, they have made me feel very comfortable and treat me like an equal."

And the opportunity to learn from a World Cup-winning coach?

"It's a big honour to be trained by Jake White, there is just so much to learn from him, he's a great coach," he admitted.

He tempers his high hopes of playing for the senior side with the fact that this is a high quality squad.

"I can only hope, but it's going to take a lot of hard work which I know I need to put it. I'm very excited for the year ahead."

Sharks squad:

Forwards: Lourens Adriaanse, Willem Alberts, Dale Chadwick, Marcell Coetzee, Kyle Cooper, Keegan Daniel, Jean Deysel, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Stephan Lewies, Tendai Mtawarira, Tera Mtembu, Etienne Oosthuizen.

Backs: Andre Esterhuizen, Tyler Fisher, Paul Jordaan, Charl McLeod, Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndungane, Cobus Reinach, Francois Steyn, Timothy Swiel, Jaco van Tonder, Heimar Williams, Fred Zeilinga.

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sast: 19h30 | local: 19h30

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Kings 10h55 Singapore
Lions v Waratahs 13h05 Johannesburg
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 15h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Worcester Warriors v Bristol 15h00 Sixways
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Welford Road
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
Stormers v Jaguares 15h15 Cape Town
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Kings v Jaguares 26 | 39
Scotland v Wales 29 | 13
Cheetahs v Lions 25 | 28
Waratahs v Force 19 | 13
Crusaders v Brumbies 17 | 13
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 17 | 83
Fri, 24 February 2017
Munster v Scarlets 21 | 30
Dragons v Leinster 22 | 54
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 17 | 18
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 18 | 27
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 1 1 0 0 4
Reds 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 1 0 0 1 1
Force 1 0 0 1 1
Rebels 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 1 1 0 0 5
Blues 1 1 0 0 5
Chiefs 1 1 0 0 5
Crusaders 1 1 0 0 4
Highlanders 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 0 0 0 0 0
Cheetahs 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Jaguares 0 0 0 0 0
Kings 0 0 0 0 0