Super Rugby
Jake White rings changes at Sharks
ESPN Staff
March 27, 2014
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Jake White has made a number of changes to his Sharks side to play New South Wales Waratahs at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday, but the most notable change has nothing to do with the injuries that have hit the team.

White has moved regular left wing Lwazi Mvovo to fullback to accommodate the return of Odwa Ndungane from compassionate leave on the right wing, with JP Pietersen moving to the left wing and SP Marais dropped to the bench.

White also made thought-provoking changes to the pack after last week's loss to the Bulls in Pretoria - the Sharks' first defeat of the Super Rugby season - moving flanker Willem Alberts to the second-row to give Jean Deysel their first start of the season. Deysel's promotion from the bench sees Currie Cup-winning Natal Sharks captain Keegan Daniel in the squad for the first time this year.

Fred Zeilinga comes in as the starting fly-half in place of the injured Patrick Lambie, as expected, while Charl McLeod replaced injured scrum-half Cobus Reinach.

White said he had named Mvovo ahead of Marais because "outside of maybe Frans Steyn, I think that Lwazi is the form player among the backs and with 50 caps he merits a place in the team". . "We have Odwa Ndungane coming back into the team, so we have the paciest players in the playing group playing for us on Saturday. We have Odwa, we have Lwazi, we have JP Pietersen, and we've got S'bura Sithole, and I am quite excited about what that group can do if we can get the ball to them."

White said explained his decision to selection Alberts at lock, saying he was looking forward to having four loose forwards in the pack. "If the Waratahs try to play attacking rugby and we hit them hard at the gainline, we might be in a position to seize on attacking opportunities and play good attacking rugby ourselves. Willem has played international rugby at lock and has the attributes for the position."

White accepted the Sharks "didn't play well" in Pretoria last week, "and we're not making excuses".

"But it's a new week, a new opportunity and we have a bye next week, so there is a lot to play for and no reason why we don't give everything this weekend.

"The nice thing is that we're still in control of what happens to us. The one thing you want to do in this competition is to be able to control your own destiny. You don't want to get into a situation where other teams dictate where you end and who you play against. That's what every team aspires to in this competition, making sure you control your own destiny, and the only way you can make sure of that is by winning."

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