Sharks head coach Sean Everitt says Curwin Bosch was left out of their match-day 23 for the second match against the British & Irish Lions as part of their ‘rotational policy’.
Bosch was not included in the Sharks’ final 23-man team to face the Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, despite starting in the first game against the tourists on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old did not put in his best performance in the 54-7 loss and came under heavy scrutiny for his willingness to put his body on the line on both attack and defence.
Instead, Lionel Cronje will start at flyhalf, while Boeta Chamberlain has been named as cover on the bench.
Everitt said that Bosch has been rested with an eye on the upcoming Currie Cup and managing his workload.
“Curwin played the last two games and we’ve got the Pumas next week Friday. We’ve got the Bulls to follow on Wednesday and the Cheetahs on Saturday,” Everitt said.
“We’re fortunate to have depth in that position and be able to rotate. We’ve got the Saturday game and three Currie Cup games, so it makes sense to rotate as much as possible and give everyone a chance.”
The 32-year-old Cronje will be playing in his first game for the Sharks since 2015, after returning to the Durban side from Japanese team Toyota Verblitz.
Cronje, who has also played for the Stormers, Bulls, Lions, Brumbies and Southern Kings, scored 81 points in 16 Currie Cup appearances in his first stint in Durban.
The Sharks will be facing the B&I Lions again as the tourists were meant to face the Bulls on Saturday, but that match was called off due to Covid-19 cases in the Bulls camp.
A rematch between the Sharks and B&I Lions was subsequently arranged, with the Sharks having to call off this weekend’s Currie Cup match against the Johannesburg Lions to play the fixture.
Everitt said that decision was left up to the Sharks and it is one they are pleased with.
“We did hear that there were problems and when they didn’t arrive at the hotel, but we only got official confirmation of it on Wednesday,” Everitt said.
“It was a little bit of a late notice, but certainly an exciting opportunity and it was left up to the Sharks to decide whether they want to play.
“We see it as a massive privilege and opportunity for our youngsters to get international rugby experience, so it wasn’t forced upon us. It was our decision to make and we were very happy with it.”