Injured Oosthuizen included in Sharks squad
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Prop Coenraad Oosthuizen has been included in the Sharks' 2018 Super Rugby squad, despite the probability that he will be out of action for the entire tournament.
Last week Sharks head coach Robert du Preez said Oosthuizen will "probably miss Super Rugby" due to a knee injury he suffered during the Springboks' end-of-year tour.
The 28-year-old tore ligaments in the Springboks' match against Ireland in November.
Meanwhile, Ruan Botha will captain the Durban-based side in this year's Super Rugby tournament.
"Ruan was handed the captaincy armband for last year's Currie Cup campaign and led from the front with strong performances and showed growth as a leader, as the competition progressed," said Du Preez
"I've been impressed with his maturity and hunger to improve not only his game, but to take forward the team's ambitions as well."
The squad consists of 25 forwards and 20 backs, with 12 of the players capped at Springbok level. There are also a host of players that have represented the junior Boks or featured in SA 'A' matches.
Amongst the new faces in the team are new signings, Robert du Preez Jnr, Makazole Mapimpi and Leolin Zas. Joining them for the first time in the Sharks Super Rugby squad is Armand van der Merwe, Louis Schreuder, Tyler Paul and Ross Geldenhuys.
Five players named in the squad are uncapped at Super Rugby level. They are Courtney Winnaar, Gideon Koegelenberg, Grant Williams, Kerron van Vuuren and Khuta Mchunu.
"We are excited about the depth we have in the squad as well as the current mix of players we have," said Du Preez. "There is going to be healthy competition for positions and a strong group dynamic has been built.
"The youngsters have really done well and have brought positive energy to our sessions and have been a big part of our pre-season success. Many of the players named made their debuts just last year and showed massive potential.
"Going into 2018 it is important that they continue to look for improvement and it is our job to ensure that the energy and enthusiasm they bring, is channelled in the right direction, and is for the greater good of the team."
Forwards: Armand van der Merwe, Coenraad Oosthuizen, Mahlatse Ralepelle, Daniel du Preez, Franco Marais, Gideon Koegelenberg, Hyron Andrews, Jacques Vermeulen, Jean Droste, Jean-Luc du Preez, John-Hubert Meyer, Juan Schoeman, Keegan Daniel, Kerron van Vuuren, Khuta Mchunu, Lubabalo Mtembu, Mzamo Majola, Philip van der Walt, Ross Geldenhuys, Ruan Botha (captain), Stephan Lewies, Tendai Mtawarira, Thomas du Toit, Tyler Paul, Wian Vosloo.
Backs: Andre Esterhuizen, Cameron Wright, Courtney Winnaar, Curwin Bosch, Garth April, Grant Williams, Jeremy Ward, Johan Deysel, Jacobus van Wyk, Leolin Zas, Louis Schreuder, Lukhanyo Am, Lwazi Mvovo, Makazole Mapimpi, Marius Louw, Michael Claassens, Rhyno Smith, Robert du Preez, Sibusiso Nkosi, Tristan Blewett.