Sharks’ Beast to tame Lions

Zimbabwe’s two famous prop forward exports – Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira and Brian Mujati – will go head to head when the Sharks host the Lions in a Super 14 Round 13 match in Durban on Saturday.

Mtawarira was on Thursday named in the Sharks starting XV, only his second start of the season, on the loosehead prop – after Mujati was named ass tighthead in the Lions team earlier in the week.

It will mean the two youngsters – still just 21 and 22 respectively – will go head-to-head in a match that is vital to the Sharks’ hopes of securing home ground advantage in the play-offs.

The two props were both scholars at Peterhouse, on the outskirts of Harare, before moving to South Africa – with Mujati the senior of the two by a year.

However, Mtawarira was a number eight at school and was only converted to the front row after he joined the Sharks.

Now he gets a chance to take on a compatriot and established prop.

The inclusion of the Beast, Mtawarira, comes after the Sharks’ Springbok prop BJ Botha suffered a mild case of flu. Botha will be on standby on the replacement bench.

Another player doubtful earlier this week, Odwa Ndungane (gastro), was not named in the matchday 22.

In his place, Francois Steyn has been moved from fly-half to wing, with Butch James returning to the side in the number 10 jersey after playing off the bench last week.

Sharks coach Dick Muir has made minimal changes this week, with the rest of the backline remaining intact from that which played in the 35-27 loss to the Chiefs last week.

The forwards show just two changes – Mtawarira for Botha and Bobby Skinstad being replaced by Ryan Kankowski.

Sharks: 15 Percy Montgomery, 14 Francois Steyn, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Bradley Barritt, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Butch James, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 AJ Venter, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Johann Muller, 4 Johan Ackermann, 3 Deon Carstens, 2 John Smit (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 BJ Botha, 18 Albert van den Berg, 19 Warren Britz, 20 Bob Skinstad, 21 Rory Kockott, 22 Adrian Jacobs

Date: Saturday, 28 April
Venue: ABSA Stadium, Durban
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Touch judges: Mark Lawrence (South Africa), Gareth Lloyd-Jones (South Africa)
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)

 

365 Digital

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