Sharks give Boks a break
Sharks coach Sean Everitt has resisted the temptation to recall the Springboks for the Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash with the Dragons in Newport on Saturday. Despite having an impressive selection of returning Boks to choose from this week, Everitt made only two changes to the lineup that narrowly defeated Zebre in Parma in their opening game of the competition. Highlights: Zebre chase Sharks to final whistle “We’ve decided to give our Boks the week off and will start integrating them next week in order to get them up to date with what we have been doing at training this season,” Everitt explained shortly after naming his squad for Saturday. “The side did well in the first half against Zebre. In fact, I would say it was the best 40 minutes of rugby that we have played in a long time. Unfortunately, we allowed them to gain momentum after the break and nearly learned an expensive lesson in the process. “We put ourselves under the pump but we’ve had an eight-day turnaround time, so we’re raring to go against the Dragons.” Lock Justin Basson comes into the starting lineup at No 4 for Gerbrandt Grobler, with Hyron Andrews taking the former’s place on the bench, where utility back Anthony Volmink replaces Fred Zeilinga. Reflecting on the last time the two sides met, Everitt said that there wasn’t much to be taken from the Sharks’ massive 51-3 win in Durban last season. He added that playing in Newport also presented a very different scenario to their current circumstances. “We took another look at that game in Durban where we were dominant in our physicality. This season, the Dragons have a quality outfit and a new coach. Playing them at home is also a very different kettle of fish, so we will have our work cut out for us.” Looking further ahead in the URC, Everitt said that he would definitely be utilising his Springboks while the Sharks still had them at their disposal. “We have a large Springbok contingent who will be joining us at training from Monday. “Barring injury, we are going to need them in Durban for the clash against Glasgow before many of them depart again for the end of year tour of Europe.” Sharks assistant coach Noel McNamara has warned just how tough the match against Dragons will be. “We saw with their performance against Munster, they’re in a really positive place and I’m sure people sat up and took note of that result,” he said. “We’re under no illusions as to the challenge we face on Saturday.” MORE: Bok trio back to spark Bulls Sharks – 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Boeta Chamerlain, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Dylan Richardson, 6 James Venter, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Thomas du Toit (c), 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu. Subs: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marnus Potgieter, 23 Anthony Volmink. Photo: Dan Sheridan/INPHO/Shutterstock The post Sharks give Boks a break appeared first on SA Rugby magazine.