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Big step up for Franco


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 9 Apr 2015 at 08:00
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

It’s kind of hard to believe, given that he started the season as reserve for the Vodacom Cup side, but former Baby Bok hooker Franco Marais finds himself making a first start for the Sharks at Super Rugby level against the Lions on Saturday.

As a young player who has never let himself (or his team) down when asked to make the step up, it’s only been a matter of time before bigger things beckoned for the Transvalia Hoërskool old boy, who starts in the middle of a completely new front row for the Sharks. Dale Chadwick and Lourens Adriaanse come in for Beast Mtawarira and Jannie du Plessis respectively, both of the latter rested this week in order to be available for the upcoming Bulls match – and the entire Sharks tour.

Marco Wentzel assumes the leadership, evoking memories of 90s cartoon show “Captain Planet” and he’ll pack down with Mouritz Botha in an unchanged second row. Renaldo Bothma starts at blindside flank in place of suspended Jean Deysel in the fourth change to the pack.

Fred Zeilinga takes over from Pat Lambie at flyhalf, with S’bura Sithole making a welcome return to the run-on side in the final backline change. Sithole starts at right wing, with Odwa Ndungane moving to fullback where he displaces SP Marais.

Willem Alberts and Etienne Oosthuizen are welcome additions to the replacements bench this week and will look to add impetus in the second half. Monde Hadebe also return to the squad, with Kyle Cooper dropping out of the match 23.

Sharks: 15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 S’bura Sithole, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Marco Wentzel (captain), 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Subs: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Jack Wilson



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