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Ken Borland

‘A good game for us to develop further, ’ Everitt says as he rotates team to face bolstered Dragons

Posted on April 26, 2022 by Ken

Although the Sharks have rotated their loose forwards, a lock, scrumhalf and centre, coach Sean Everitt says he is pleased their URC opponents on Friday night – the Dragons – have bolstered their team with four internationals saying it “will be a good game for us to develop further”.

While the Sharks’ powerhouse front row of Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi and Thomas du Toit remains the same, Le Roux Roets comes in for Reniel Hugo at No.4 lock and James Venter, Jeandre Labuschagne and Phepsi Buthelezi will be the loose trio, with Siya Kolisi and Sikhumbuzo Notshe on the bench and Henco Venter resting.

Jaden Hendrikse rotates with Grant Williams at scrumhalf and Jeremy Ward replaces Marius Louw at inside centre.

The Dragons, meanwhile, have been reinforced by the arrival of Wales representatives in flanks Ross Moriarty, Aaron Wainwright and Taine Basham, and lock Will Rowlands.

“Facing the Dragons with their internationals will be a good game for us to develop further,” Everitt said. “Our rotation was premeditated and not because of last weekend’s loss, but it’s very important that we improve every week.

“Last week the guys did everything in their power to win, we won every aspect of the game from the power battle to metres kicked, but obviously everyone looks at the opportunities we created on attack and did not convert.

“Next week will be five games in a row and in my experience players start to fatigue after game four, so it’s a good time to start freshening up after three weeks,” Everitt said.

The Sharks are confident they will have the grunt up front to counter what they believe will be a huge response from the Dragons to their 55-20 mauling at the hands of the Bulls in Pretoria last weekend.

“We expect a big physical onslaught from the Dragons, they will be a different kettle of fish this week,” Everitt said.

“But James Venter has shown that when he is on form he is probably one of the best No.6s in the country, he was chosen for the Green and Gold match after outstanding performances in 2020.

“Phepsi Buthelezi has performed well but we felt we needed to give Sikhumbuzo Notshe a string of games after he recovered from injury. Jeandre Labuschagne is a good lineout option.

“And Thomas du Tout has experience of what is required as captain, he is proud to be captain and I am sure he will show that. He is a no-nonsense man,” Everitt said.

Sharks team: Anthony Volmink, Werner Kok, Ben Tapuai, Jeremy Ward, Makazole Mapimpi, Curwin Bosch, Jaden Hendrikse, Phepsi Buthelezi, Jeandre Labuschagne, James Venter, Gerbrandt Grobler, Le Roux Roets, Thomas du Toit (c), Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche. Replacements – Kerron van Vuuren, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Khutha Mchunu, Reniel Hugo, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Siya Kolisi, Grant Williams, Boeta Chamberlain.

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