Super 14
Powerful Sharks aiming for final hit-out
February 3, 2009
The Sharks' Francois Steyn looks for a gap in the Lions defence, Sharks v Lions, Super 14, Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa, March 15, 2008
Francois Steyn starts in the centre against the Bulls © Getty Images

The Sharks have named a formidable side for their final Super 14 warm-up game against the Bulls in Durban on Wednesday despite their opponents deciding to rest their front-line players.

Sharks boss John Plumtree has named current Springboks Ruan Pienaar, Francois Steyn, Adrian Jacobs, JP Pietersen and veteran fullback Stefan Terblanche in his back-line for the game, with Ryan Kankowski, John Smit and Johann Muller taking the overall Springbok tally to eight by starting in the pack.

The Sharks have been hit by illness and injury however, and will be looking for several players to come through the came with a clean bill of health.

"Keegan Daniel has been sick and won't play much against the Bulls, he and Jacques Botes will have about 20 minutes each," said Plumtree. "The front row does not have not much experience aside from John Smit, but we won't put much emphasis on the scrum, the emphasis is on what we do with the ball. We want to go out there and have a good hit out.

"Although we have a number of injuries, and this is not ideal at the start of the campaign, you can't cry over spilt milk."

The Bulls field some experience in John Mametsa, Wayne Julies, Tiger Mangweni and JP Joubert but are missing their large Springbok contingent, including Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha and Brian Habana.

There is also a start for South Africa U20 fly-half Francois Brummer, and he partners Joubert at half-back.

Sharks: Stefan Terblanche, Luzuko Vulindlu, Adrian Jacobs, Francois Steyn, JP Pietersen, Ruan Pienaar, Rory Kockott, Ryan Kankowski, Jean Deysel, Skholiwe Ndlovu, Johann Muller, Steven Sykes, John Smit, Craig Burden, Melusi Mthethwa

Replacements: Frik Venter, Dave Hawksworth, Alistair Hargreaves/ Justin Downey, Jacques Botes/Keegan Daniel, Ross Cronje, Odwa Ndungane, Chris Jordaan/Riaan Swanepoel

Bulls: Tiger Mangweni, John Mametsa, Braam Gerber, Wayne Julies, Rocco Jansen, Francois Brummer, JP Joubert, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Vince Gwavu, Okkie Kruger, Willem Serfontein, Bêrend Botha, Sangoni Mxoli, Bandise Maku, Dean Greyling.

Replacements: Zane Botha, Corné Fourie, Rossouw de Klerk, Bosman Grobler, Francois Hougaard, Ruan Boshoff, Gerhard van der Merwe, Dries van Schalkwyk.


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