Bosch at No 10 could well enliven Sharks backs
CURWIN BOSCH will start at flyhalf for the Sharks in their Currie Cup match against Griquas in Kimberley tomorrow (3pm kickoff), the first time he will be starting in that position since last year’s final.
Regular flyhalf Robert du Preez is being trialled at No 12, with Marius Louw dropping to the bench. Bosch’s promotion to No 10 means Aphelele Fassi gets a start at 15. There are five changes in all to the run-on team that copped 50 from Western Province two weeks ago.
The selection of the multi-skilled Bosch at No 10 could well enliven a potentially lethal Sharks backline that also has Springbok Sbu Nkosi back on the right wing after injury.
Coenie Oosthuizen will start his first match since his catastrophic injury in the second minute of the Test against Ireland in Dublin last November. Alongside him tomorrow will be Akker van der Merwe, who gets his first start of the Currie Cup, with regular captain and hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle playing off the bench.
That means the Sharks have a new captain in scrumhalf Louis Schreuder. The Sharks’ front-row depth means two Springboks have been exchanged for another two Boks, with Thomas du Toit making way for Oosthuizen and Ralepelle for Van der Merwe.
The Sharks indeed have a powerful bench, with Jean-Luc du Preez making his comeback following recuperation from groin surgery. There is also a new face among the replacements in the youngster Dick Muir describes as “the man mountain”, JJ van der Mescht.
The 19-year-old Van der Mescht was still at Glenwood High last year and is colossal indeed – two metres tall, 130kgs and he wears a size 16 boot.
Coach Robert du Preez said he had no hesitation in selecting the bulldozer. “JJ is a guy with huge talent, we believe he can handle the Currie Cup,” Du Preez said. “He is big and aggressive, he has all the talent in the world and we will give him a good run and see what he can do.”
Finally, how does Schreuder feel about captaining the Sharks?
“Nothing really changes for me ... the only thing is that I can now talk to the referee without being penalised,” Schreuder quipped before adding seriously, “Let’s be honest, Kimberley is not the easiest trip, all the teams have noted that. The best thing is to focus inwardly, and not worry about them... We are used to travel and we must just handle it.”