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Plenty of new Sharks on show


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 8 Aug 2014 at 15:47

A fair few players will make their Currie Cup debuts for the Sharks against Griquas tomorrow. Let’s run through the names before extending a warm welcome to one and all.

First up is Thomas du Toit, the 19 year old find of the season at loosehead prop.  The 130kg behemoth is now no stranger to the fans, having earned 4 Super Rugby caps to date. Tom gets a chance to start ahead of Dale Chadwick, who’s battled with a bit of flu this week, and will want to use this opportunity to tie down a regular berth in the run on side.

On the other side of the scrum is Lourens Adriaanse, who attended Paarl Gim, arch enemies to Paarl Boys High where du Toit was schooled. Adriaanse is no stranger to Currie Cup rugby, having played for Griquas in the competition before, but tomorrow represents the Sharks for the first time in Currie Cup. He has 18 Super Rugby caps for the Sharks, all earned this year.

Etienne Oosthuizen plays his first game at flank for the Sharks, and also for the first time in Currie Cup, although he earned a few caps for the Lions in the competition two years back as a 19 year old. He made his name as a capable utility forward for the Brumbies last year and has represented the Sharks at lock in Super Rugby.

Cameron Wright gets his chance due to a number of scrumhalf injuries. The old Hiltonian is in his first year out of school and makes his senior debut for the Sharks at just 20 years of age. Of all the newbies on show, Cameron has the most to prove.

Tonderai  Chavhanga, at 30, is one of the oldest Currie Cup debutants for the Sharks. The Zimbabwean Bok winger has played for WP, the Lions and the Cheetahs before and also has a few Super Rugby caps and a superb try for the Sharks to his name.

On the bench, big Matt Stevens returns to his roots to play for the Sharks for the first time, having moved to England after matriculating at Kearsney.  He has accumulated 39 test caps for England and that experience is a key reason behind his inclusion in the squad.

Also returning to the Sharks for the first time since school is 23 year old lock John Charles Astle. JC attended Pionier and played age group rugby for the Cheetahs after school.  He has played first division Currie Cup rugby for Boland, but stands to earn a first cap in the premier division tomorrow.

Hanco Venter is a Monument old boy and has represented the Sharks at under 19, under 21 and Vodacom Cup level.  The nuggety scrumhalf will look to establish himself as a senior option this campaign.

Lastly, Lionel Cronje will look to deliver on his age group promise as he covers a wide spectrum of backline positions tomorrow. Now with his sixth team in as many seasons, Sharks fans will be looking to the mercurial former Queens College head boy to settle in Durban and repay the faith shown in him.

Welcome to the Sharks, boys….now time to step up and deliver.



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