Wentzel leads young Sharks

Veteran lock Marco Wentzel will lead the Sharks in their Currie Cup opener against the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday.

Wentzel, who assumed the Sharks’ captaincy midway through the Vodacom Super Rugby season, retains the leadership reins in an unchanged pack from last Friday’s warm-up game against the Golden Lions.

Three new Sharks recruits have been named in the starting lineup, with Joe Pietersen selected at fullback, Wandile Mjekevu at outside centre and Philip van der Walt at No 8.

Coach Gary Gold said he was satisfied with the composition of a new-look team.

‘There is some exciting young talent coming through the ranks, and guys like Stefan Ungerer, Daniel and Jean-Luc du Preez, Monde Hadebe, Khaya Majola, Franco Marais and Thomas du Toit will be given their opportunities during the course of this campaign.’

Sharks – 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Wandile Mjekevu, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Andre Esterhuizen, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Marco Wentzel (c), 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Monde Hadebe, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Subs: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 David McDuling, 19 Daniel du Preez, 20 Francois Kleinhans, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 SP Marais.

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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