New-look Sharks to face Lions

Three Sharks newcomers will start in Friday’s Currie Cup warm-up game against the Golden Lions in Pietermaritzburg.

New recruits Philip van der Walt, Michael Claassens and Joe Pietersen will all play their first games after arriving in Durban recently.

Returning from a spell in France, former Cheetahs loose forward Van der Walt will start at No 8, while Claassens (from Toulon) and Pietersen (from the Cheetahs) will make up the halfback combination.

Talented centre Paul Jordaan, who missed the entire Vodacom Super Rugby season as he recovered from a horror hip injury, will start at outside centre.

Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit will make his return from a serious knee injury when he comes off the bench.

The Sharks have not named a captain in the 33-man squad, with an announcement expected to be made next week.

In the absence of last year’s Currie Cup captain Tera Mtembu, who is out with injury, veteran lock Marco Wentzel may well retain the leadership reins from Super Rugby.

Sharks – 15 SP Marais, 14 Charles Mayeza, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Alcino Izaacs, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Monde Hadebe, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Subs: 16 Juan Schoeman, 17 Franco Marais, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Wiehan Hay, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Francois Kleinhans, 22 Dave McDuling, 23 Christiaan de Bruin, 24 Stefan Ungerer, 25 Lionel Cronje, 26 S'bura Sithole, 27 Heimar Williams, 28 Wandile Mjekevu, 29. Odwa Ndungane, 30 Garth April, 31 Gerhard Engelbrecht, 32 JC Astle, 33 Tonderai Chavhanga.

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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