Bosch at No 10 could well en­liven Sharks backs

Pretoria News - - Sport - MIKE GREEN­AWAY mike.green­away@inl.co.za

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.”

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