Alberts gets first start
23 Feb 2010
Jean Deysel has been dropped for Willem Alberts in a Sharks team that sees four changes to the pack.
Alberts earns his first start in a Sharks jersey in the Super 14 since winning his court battle against the Lions, with Springbok flank Deysel paying for some below-par performances. After starting at hooker last week, John Smit reverts to tighthead and will be tested at scrum-time in an interesting battle with the Crusaders pack.
Bismarck du Plessis starts at No 2 due to Smit’s shift, while lock Johann Muller has recovered from a pinched nerve in his neck. Alistair Hargreaves isn’t part of the tour party and Bulls recruit Wilhelm Steenkamp keeps his place on the bench.
Coach John Plumtree has selected five forwards on the wood with Ruan Pienaar covering scrumhalf, while Englishman Andy Goode is set for his debut. Riaan Swanepoel also returns from injury and is included in the squad.
Sharks – 15. Stefan Terblanche, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Waylon Murray, 12. Adrian Jacobs, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Ruan Pienaar, 9. Rory Kockott, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Johaan Muller, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. John Smit (c), 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Deon Carstens, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18. Wilhelm Steenkamp , 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21. Andy Goode, 22. Riaan Swanepoel.