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Thu Apr 24 03:12:51 SAST 2014

Sharks give young guns a chance

SBU MJIKELISO | 08 August, 2012 06:400 Comments
Monde Hadebe of the Sharks during the 2012 Vodacom Cup match between Sharks XV and Eastern Province Kings from Mr Price Kings Park on April 21, 2012 in Durban
Image by: Steve Haag / Gallo Images

THE Sharks will rest scrumhalf Charl McLeod and lock Anton Bresler for Saturday's Currie Cup opener against Western Province at Newlands.

Both have played virtually every game in the Super 15 and coach John Plumtree is ready to blood some of his younger players. These include lock Peet Marais, hooker Monde Hadebe, fullback Gouws Prinsloo and SA sevens internationals Lubabalo Mtembu and Sibusiso Sithole.

"These guys have flirted on the fringes of the senior squad for a couple of years, so now they get an opportunity to play some regular rugby," said Plumtree.

"Marcell Coetzee played Currie Cup last year and now he's a Springbok. You get nice surprises."

He said the team would focus on the cup and not wallow in the misery of last Saturday's defeat by the Chiefs in the Super 15 final.

"We are proud of what we achieved in Super rugby," he said.

"However, we're disappointed, obviously, that we didn't get the title, but this team has a lot to look forward to.

"It's not easy to shift focus. We have had no time really to prepare this group, but we have 17 members of this squad of 26 that have played Super rugby and have a bit of experience.

"It's been tough for us with so many players unavailable, but we're used to that and we're excited about some of the youngsters who will get an opportunity to impress."

The Sharks will name their team to play Province later this week.

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