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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Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
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Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
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Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
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Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10