Durban — The growing depth at the Sharks was illustrated by the quality of the line-up announced to play Griquas in a Currie Cup match in Durban on Wednesday, which is just a few days before another Sharks team visits the Lions for a United Rugby Championship fixture.
Head coach Sean Everitt will take a considerably stronger match-23 up to Ellis Park on Saturday for the resumption of the URC but his counterpart for the Currie Cup season, Etienne Fynn, has a side packed with experience and perfectly capable of beating Griquas.
It is Fynn’s coaching debut at senior level and the former Springbok and Sharks tighthead prop says he is relishing the new challenge.
“It is about results and nothing else,” he said. “I am looking forward to it. There will be ups and downs and all you can do is carefully put one foot in front of the other, but ultimately the proof will be in the pudding.
“Sean Everitt and I are keeping the guys together in one big squad for as long as possible and that allows for fluidity of selection for the two competitions and this side to play Griquas is very capable,” Fynn added.
A key player making his Sharks debut is the prolific winger Eduan Keyter, who scored 18 tries in 31 games for Griquas before joining the Sharks late last year after the Currie Cup, but he arrived with a serious injury and is only now fit to play.
The former Samoa flank OJ Noa will also make his debut while there are a further four debutants on the bench: hooker Jason Alexander, loosehead prop Dian Bleuler, lock Corne Rahl and flank Josh Moon.
Otherwise, the side is full of well-known faces and is captained by seasoned centre Marius Louw.
There is a big opportunity at flyhalf for Jordan Chait, who has been in the Sharks’ system for some time but has had few opportunities.
“Jordan is a very competitive player, he runs hard at the line; his game management has really improved and I am looking forward to seeing some growth from him. He must drive the game, he knows what we want from him and it is a massive opportunity for him.”
Sharks: 15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Werner Kok, 12 Marius Louw (capt), 11 Eduan Keyter, 10 Jordan Chait, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Mpilo Gumede, 7 OJ Noa, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Emile van Heerden, 4 Gerbrant Grobler, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Dan Jooste, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Substitutes: 16 Jason Alexander, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Corne Rahl, 20 Josh Moon, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Murray Koster, 23 Marius Potgieter.