Springbok hooker Akker van der Merwe has been named on the Sharks’ bench for this Friday’s inaugural ‘Durban Challenge’ clash against Bordeaux.
Van der Merwe has been in the Bok camp this week ahead of Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test against Argentina, but will instead turn out for the Sharks. Malcolm Marx and Bongi Mbonambi are set to be included as the two hookers in the Springbok match 23.
The Sharks team features a number of Super Rugby regulars, including the halfback pair of Louis Schreuder and Rob du Preez.
Marius Louw and Jeremy Ward make up the centre combination, while the back three includes the exciting pair of fullback Courtney Winnaar and wing Aphelele Fassi.
Up front, Ralepelle will be flanked by Juan Schoeman and John-Hubert Meyer. No 8 Dan du Preez and flank Tyler Paul will also add plenty of experience to the team.
A 26-man bench includes Van der Merwe, as well as Rugby Challenge captain Tera Mtembu and scrumhalf Cameron Wright.
A new face among the substitutes is Western Province flank Luke Stringer, who has joined the Sharks for the Currie Cup campaign.
Sharks – 15 Courtney Winnaar, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Wian Vosloo, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle (c), 1 Juan Schoeman.
Subs: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Akker van der Merwe, 18 Mzamo Majola, 19 Khuta Mchunu, 20 Andrew Evans, 21 Tera Mtembu, 22 Luke Stringer, 23 Cameron Wright, 24 Grant Williams, 25 Danrich Visagie, 26 Leolin Zas.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images