Sharks gamble on rotated squad for URC clash

The Sharks have made significant changes to their starting lineup for the upcoming United Rugby Championship (URC) match against the Glasgow Warriors this weekend.

With their sights set on the European Challenge Cup semi-finals, the Durban-based side has opted to rest several key players for Friday night’s encounter at Scotstoun.

Focus Shifts to European Campaign

Currently sitting in 13th place in the URC standings, having secured just three wins from 13 matches, the Sharks have shifted their focus to their European campaign.

The team aims to use their remaining URC fixtures to build momentum and fine-tune their game plan ahead of the crucial Challenge Cup semi-final against Clermont in London in three weeks.

Sharks’ Star Players Given a Break

To manage player workload and ensure optimal performance in the Challenge Cup, the Sharks have rested several of their star players for the Glasgow Warriors clash.

Springbok stalwarts such as lock Eben Etzebeth, centre Lukhanyo Am, hooker Bongi Mbonambi, and prop Ox Nche have all been given a well-deserved break. However, experienced tighthead Vincent Koch provides cover from the bench.

Venter to Captain Reshuffled Side

Francois Venter, a versatile centre with a handful of Springbok caps to his name, will lead the Sharks in their battle against the Glasgow Warriors.

The reshuffled backline also features Grant Williams at scrum-half, a player who has seen limited game time in recent weeks, and Aphiwe Dyantyi on the wing, as the Springbok speedster continues his comeback from injury.

Bosch Returns to Fly-Half Berth

Curwin Bosch, the talented utility back, will don the No. 10 jersey for the Sharks, taking over from the impressive youngster Siya Masuku. Masuku, who has showcased his skills and composure in recent outings, will provide cover from the bench, ready to make an impact when called upon.

Hatton Earns Sharks URC Debut

Friday night’s clash against the Glasgow Warriors will also mark the URC debut of promising young No. 8 Nick Hatton. The talented loose forward, who featured in two Currie Cup matches for the Sharks in 2022, will be eager to make his mark on the big stage and stake his claim for future selection.

The full Sharks team is:

Boeta Chamberlain, Eduan Keyter, Murray Koster, Francois Venter (capt), Aphiwe Dyantyi, Curwin Bosch, Grant Williams, Nick Hatton, Lappies Labuschagne, Tino Mavesere, Gerbrandt Grobler, Corne Rahl, Hanro Jacobs, Dan Jooste, Ntuthuko Mchunu.
Replacements: Fez Mbatha, Khwezi Mona, Vincent Koch, Emile van Heerden, Vincent Tshituka, Cameron Wright, Siya Masuku, Ethan Hooker.

As the Sharks prepare for their crucial Challenge Cup semi-final, Director of Rugby Neil Powell will be closely monitoring the performance of his rotated squad against the Glasgow Warriors.

A strong showing in the URC could provide the perfect springboard for the Durban side as they chase European glory and look to salvage some pride from a challenging season.

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