Sharks bring out the big guns
Sharks bring out the big gunsSHARE
Sharks boss Jake White will unleash all his available Springboks on the Lions in their final pre-season Super Rugby outing in Johannesburg on Friday.
White, the Director of Rugby, named a team that features 10 Boks in the starting XV and another three on the bench – including an all-Bok front row.
Odwa Ndungane, Francois Steyn, Lwazi Mvovo, Patrick Lambie, Jean Deysel, Marcell Coetzee, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis (as captain) and Tendai Mtawarira will all start.
Lourens Adriaanse, Ryan Kankowski and Charl McLeod will play off the bench.
"It's going to be as close as it gets to a dress rehearsal," White said.
"I'd like to pick a team that I'd like to start against the Bulls," he said of their Round One encounter of the competition proper, on February 15.
"I'll give them as much game-time as I can in the first 40 or 50 minutes.
"Then if I've seen enough of what I need to, then I'll look to give other guys a run.
"But the quicker I can get cohesion and group work going the better it will be."
White admitted injuries could be a factor going forward.
"What we want is a situation where we hopefully come through this Friday's game unscathed, but if they don't then we've at least used the two warm-up games to give other guys an opportunity to get game-time, and they're ready to step in if need be."
Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements – from: Monde Hadebe, Dale Chadwick, Lourens Adriaanse, Stephan Lewies, Jacques Botes, Ryan Kankowski, Charl McLeod, Fred Zeilinga, Heimar Williams, S'bura Sithole, Jaco van Tonder.
Date: Friday, February 7
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe