SUPER RUGBY Preview : Sharks vs Hurricanes

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The Sharks have named returning Springbok fly-half Pat Lambie on their replacements bench for this weekend’s home clash with the Hurricanes.

Garth April will start his third consecutive match in the 10 shirt, with Lambie set to make his comeback from injury later in the contest.

Also making his return is captain and loosehead prop Beast Mtawarira, who was rested for last weekend’s fixture against the Chiefs.

The Hurricanes will be in high spirits after putting 50 points on the Lions last week. For the Sharks, they will be excited to play in front of their home crowd and to build on the courageous effort they displayed last Friday against Super Rugby’s current overall leaders.

James Marshall’s return at full-back is the only change to the Hurricanes team named to start against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

Marshall, who had sat out three matches due to concussion, made a successful return to Super Rugby via the bench during the Hurricanes 50-17 win over the Lions in Johannesburg.

The 27-year-old utility back had been the Hurricanes preferred number 15 against the Highlanders, Blues, Force and Kings before Jason Woodward took over at full-back against the Jaguares, Rebels, Chiefs and Lions.

Against the Sharks, Woodward will be part of a reshuffled reserves bench featuring the return of prop Ben May, lock Mark Abbott and midfielder Ngani Laumape.

May, who had been resting a sore neck, comes into the squad for Loni Uhila, Abbott replaces loose forward Callum Gibbins, while Laumape provides midfield cover in place of Willis Halaholo.

The midfield of Vince Aso and Matt Proctor is retained for the fourth week in a row and locks Michael Fatialofa and Vaea Fifita start together in an unchanged forward pack.

Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd said there continued to be healthy competition for places throughout the squad.

“We are in a good spot in terms of having a fully fit squad to choose from and there are a number of players putting real pressure on for starting spots,” Boyd said.

“That makes it tough each week to select the team, but that’s exactly what we want at this stage of the season.

“It’s really important that we maintain the level of performance we produced against the Lions because if we don’t I know we will be in for a tough afternoon in Durban.

“The Sharks are extremely tough at home and they are a side that can hurt you up front or out wide. They present a massive challenge.”

The Teams:

Sharks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Garth April, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira (c)
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Odwa Ndungane

Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Vince Aso, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (vc), 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (c), 1 Reg Goodes
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Ngani Laumape, 23 Jason Woodward

Date: Saturday, May 7
Venue: Growthpoint Stadium, Durban
Kick-off: 15:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: Quinton Immelman, Rodney Bonaparte
TMO: Marius Jonker


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