Cape Town – The Sharks’ Currie Cup campaign has received a major boost with a number of players returning from injury ahead of next weekend’s semi-finals.
The men from Durban take on Griquas in their final round-robin clash in Kimberley on Saturday, while they still have a small chance of finishing on top of the log ahead of Western Province.
Even if they don’t, though, the Sharks will host a semi-final in Durban next weekend and coach Robert du Preez has a number of players returning to boost his chances.
Against Griquas, Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen will make his first start since last November’s Test match against Ireland in Dublin when he injured his knee.
“He’s been outstanding for us at practices and he brings a ton of energy,” Du Preez said of Oosthuizen.
“He is part of the leadership group and it’s great to have him back starting.”
Boks wing S’bu Nkosi, meanwhile, is also back to full fitness after recovering from an ankle injury and he will start on the right wing.
“It’s great to have S’bu back. He is really keen to get a proper run and he’s trained really well during the week,” said Du Preez.
The other major boost is the return of Jean-Luc du Preez, who has been named off the bench after having undergone groin surgery in late August.
“He’s worked hard to get back. It’s been a good recovery,” coach Du Preez said.
“It’s a little bit earlier than we thought he would get back in but he is keen to have a go.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 15:00.
15 AJ Coertzen, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Kyle Steyn (captain), 12 Andre Swarts, 11 Enver Brandt, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Conway Pretorius, 7 Sias Koen, 6 Wendal Wehr, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuuren, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 Khwezi Mkhafu, 1 Devon Matinus
Substitutes: 16 Liam Hendricks, 17 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 18 Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, 19 Eital Bredenkamp, 20 Louis Venter, 21 Stephan Janse van Rensburg, 22 Edwin Sass
15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Robert du Preez, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Juan Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 JJ van der Mescht, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Grant Williams, 21 Marius Louw, 22 Kobus van Wyk