Planet Rugby

Sharks unchanged for Lions

10th April 2014 07:35

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paul jordaan sharks

Healthy: Paul Jordaan

The Sharks starting line-up remains unchanged for this Saturday's Super Rugby clash with the Lions in Johannesburg.

Paul Jordaan is over his injury and returns to the match 23, replacing Heimar Williams on the bench in the only change White has made.

Despite the physical nature of the battle against the Waratahs, the Sharks had the good fortune of being able to keep the squad intact.

Despite the Lions losing to the Crusaders last weekend, director of rugby Jake White admits that no-one should be reading anything into that result.

"People will say they're disappointed, but the truth is, the Crusaders have won the title seven times," said White.

"They are generally a team that starts late, they tend to hit their straps later in the competition, and the worst time to play them is in the middle of the tournament. So I don't think we need to read too much into the fact that the Lions lost to the Crusaders.

"Yes, they'll be disappointed because they have been going along well, but to lose to the Crusaders is not doom or gloom for anybody."

White warns that his team are going to have it tough once again in a typical South African derby where the two packs look to assert dominance over one another.

"The Lions' forward pack has been outstanding, I think Johan Ackermann has done a fantastic job," stated White.

"He talks about it often and he's right, he has an inexperienced front row that took on a team like the Auckland Blues who have three All Blacks playing and next week they're up against a Reds' side with three Wallabies playing there.

"Their front row was supposedly young players who've come along and staked a claim. That's just three players in a whole team, but it epitomises everybody in that group: no-namers who have really stuck their hands up and played above themselves.

"And then they have a lot of pace in the backline and a lot of skills, and the fact that Elton Jantjies, a Springbok, isn't in their starting line-up proves that they're obviously quite comfortable with the way they're playing. Last time we played them, Elton started against us. Now he's not in the mix, so it will be a completely different challenge for us."

Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 S'bura Sithole, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 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 Keegan Daniel, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Paul Jordaan, 23 SP Marais.

Date: Saturday, April 12
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kickoff: 19:10 (local, 17:10 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Stefan Breytenbach (both South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

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