Sharks face Rebels without Du Preez

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:01
Large jean luc du preez sharks training 2017 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Sharks head coach Robert Du Preez has named a 23-man squad for their Super Rugby match against the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday at Kings Park.

Fresh from a bye, the Sharks will hope to put in a stellar performance against the Rebels before they set sail to Buenos Aires.

The Sharks will be without the services of flank Jean-Luc du Preez after he picked up a niggle during the week. Philip van der Walt will take his spot in the starting XV.  

At fullback, Rhyno Smith will be earning his first Super Rugby start for the season, while Curwin Bosch will fulfill the flyhalf position.

"After seven weeks of tough competition, we welcomed the opportunity to have a few days off.  The players arrived at training refreshed and energetic," head coach Robert du Preez said.   

"We’ve set out our goals as a team and we have a few important weeks coming up, with two trips abroad, and we need to remain focused and take each game as it comes, without getting ahead of ourselves.
 
"Our performances this year have shown that our young team has the talent and the temperament needed to succeed and we still have room for improvement.  What excites us is the work ethic and commitment that our players have shown," he added.

Despite the Sharks' hard-fought 18-13 win against Jaguares in Round seven and their bye this week, the mentor refused to rest on their laurels and has urged his team to take make use of the home ground advantage.  

"The Rebels have come off a win against the Brumbies and will want to start their SA tour off well. Like the other Australian sides they like to spread the ball wide and play an expansive game.  

"We’ve had a good training week and will certainly not be taking the Rebels lightly.  We once again get an opportunity to play at home and we need to take our opportunities and make our home advantage count,"

Sharks: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Lubabalo Mtembu (captain), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenraad Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai  Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Ruan Botha, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 23 Jeremy Ward.

Date: Saturday, April 22
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 19.30 (17.30 GMT; 03.30 AUS Time Sunday, April 23)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds (South Africa), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19