Venter passed fit for Sharks
March 27, 2008

Sharks lock AJ Venter has been passed fit for this weekend's Super 14 clash with the Reds in Durban.

The Sharks had mixed fortunes as far as injury recovery goes with Venter recovering from elbow surgery while Adi Jacobs was not included after failing to recover fully from a slight hamstring pull.

Venter partner skipper Johann Muller in the second row while Francois Steyn once again starts at flyhalf.

An experienced bench includes Frenchman Frederic Michalak and Tongan international, the versatile Epi Taione who will make his debut should he come off the bench.

Ahead of the clash, Sharks coach Dick Muir told The Mercury newspaper, "The Reds are a mobile side and keep the ball for long periods, so we need to be mobile," Muir said.

"We have been impressed at how the Reds have stepped up their game and become a well-organised unit.

"They are a well-balanced side. We have seen how their forwards stood up to and beat a Bulls pack that gave us a lot of grief. They are very accurate at the breakdown.

"And in the backline they have a lot of options with two flyhalves playing alongside each other (Quade Cooper at 10 and Berrick Barnes at 12) and with Chris Latham's big left boot at the back. And, of course, Latham and his wings love to counterattack.

"Traditionally they have been a thorn in our side.

"We have struggled against them over the years, and with this being our final game before we start our tour, there is no danger of any complacency whatsoever."


15. Stefan Terblanche
14. Odwa Ndungane
13. Waylon Murray
12. Bradley Barritt
11. JP Pietersen
10. Francois Steyn
9. Ruan Pienaar
8. Ryan Kankowski
7. Jacques Botes
6. Keegan Daniel
5. Johann Muller (Captain)
4. AJ Venter
3. Jannie du Plessis
2. Bismarck du Plessis
1. Tendai Mtawarira

16. Craig Burden
17. BJ Botha
18. Albert van den Berg
19. Steven Sykes
20. Epi Taione
21. Rory Kockott
22. Frederic Michalak


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