Planet Rugby

Jordaan returns for Sharks

23rd April 2014 09:48

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Back at 13: Paul Jordaan

Sharks boss Jake White has been forced to make changes to his back-line for Friday's clash with the Highlanders in Durban.

The loss of Tonderai Chavhanga to a hamstring tweak against the Cheetahs and Odwa Ndungane's absence for another week following a blow to the shoulder has necessitated a reshuffling of the backs.

S'bura Sithole moves to wing and Paul Jordaan makes a return to his position at outside centre. The good news is that JP Pietersen has recovered after missing out last week after pulling up in training and he will play on the other wing.

The rest of the side remains unchanged, with Tim Swiel getting another go at fly-half after making his first start last week in the victorious clash against the Cheetahs.

The Highlanders arrive in Durban fresh off a bye and time will tell whether they benefit from the break or find that it disrupts them.

"There are two ways of looking at it: one, you're rusty because you didn't play the week before, or two, you've had two weeks to prepare yourself and freshen up mentally," White told The Sharks' official website.

"I don't think you can ever work out in theory if you have a rest you're better, or you lose your momentum. The challenge for us is to focus on getting a result. We go away the next day, it's our last home game for a long while and we have to keep the momentum going."

The Highlanders finished last year second from bottom on the log with just three wins to their name. In 2014, they have one extra win and they still have nine games to play. They're currently in eighth spot on the log and well-placed to contest for a top six finish.

"There is no doubt that this year they are way better than they were last year," said White.

"You can't read anything into what happened last year. They're a good side, they have some good players, Ben Smith and Aaron Smith are probably the two form players in New Zealand, and have been for the last couple of seasons, not just this year.

"Everything starts and revolves around those two guys."

The match also represents an important milestone for Keegan Daniel who makes his 100th Super Rugby appearance for the Sharks.

Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 S'bura Sithole, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Ryan Kankowski, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 SP Marais.

Date: Friday, April 25
Venue: Kings Park Stadium, Durban
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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