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News24.com | Kok, Libbok start as Sharks name strong team for Super Rugby Unlocked opener

Sharks coach Sean Everitt has named his team for Friday’s Super Rugby Unlocked opener against the Lions in Durban.

Thirteen players who featured in last Saturday’s Springbok Showdown have been named in the Sharks match-day squad.

Ox Nche, Dylan Richardson and Thomas du Toit will be the starting front row, while lock Hyron Andrews together with loose forwards James Venter and Sikhumbuzo Notshe complete the inclusion of starting forwards.

Five of the seven backline players named for Friday’s game also played in last weekend’s match at Newlands.

The halfback pairing of Sanele Nohamba and Curwin Bosch are joined by former Blitzboks star Werner Kok, captain Lukhanyo Am and fullback Manie Libbok.

Kok and Libbok will make their Sharks debuts, while on the bench Dan Jooste, Mpilo Gumede and Thaakir Abrahams are also in line to make their first appearances for the Durbanites.

Playing off the bench, lock JJ van der Mescht and centre Jeremy Ward will also be eager to prove their worth once they get on the park.

Sharks flank James Venter admits that the energy and excitement in the camp are driving the players towards delivering a big performance on Friday evening.

“Our pre-season has gone really well, we’ve trained hard and executed well. But we’ve learned our lessons from that Bulls game and now it’s about executing against the Lions,” he said via a press statement.

“The camp is really excited. We knew going into the Bulls game that it was a warm-up match and we took that in our stride, although we learned a lot and will bounce back. This week has been about prepping for the Lions and we have trained hard, the vibe in the camp is great and we’re really excited to get stuck into Super Rugby Unlocked.”

Friday’s clash at Kings Park kicks off at 19:00.

Teams:

Sharks

15 Manie Libbok, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Werner Kok, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Sikumbuzo Notshe, 7 Phepsi Buthelezi, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Dylan Richardson, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Mpilo Gumede, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Thaakir Abrahams

Lions

15 EW Viljoen, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Burger Odendaal, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vince Tshituka, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole

Substitutes: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 MJ Pelser, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Morne van den Berg, 23 Gianni Lombard, 24 Wandisile Simelane, 25 Ruan Dreyer

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