The Sharks have named their 27-man touring squad for the two-match Super Rugby tour of Australia.
Coach Robert du Preez initially announced a 45-man squad for the tournament overall, but selected only 27 players for their overseas excursion in the opening two rounds against the Reds and Brumbies respectively.
Apart from the 10 internationals, Du Preez has selected four uncapped Super Rugby players – Stephan Coetzee, Jean Droste, Sbu Nkosi and Jacques Vermeulen – while new recruits Kobus van Wyk and Jeremy Ward also made the cut.
Keegan Daniel was named in the 45-man squad, but after suffering a fractured radius in his forearm in the Sharks’ pre-season fixture against the Cheetahs last weekend and undergoing subsequent corrective surgery, he has been ruled out of the opening rounds.
‘It was an extremely tough decision to settle on this 27-man touring squad. We were initially looking at selecting a 15/12 split for the tour, but due to the cover we have among the backs the decision was taken to go with 16 forwards and 11 backs,’ said du Preez.
‘The 27 players selected have all put up their hands not only during the pre-season, but in the two warm-up matches. There is a good balance between experience and youth in this traveling squad. A guy like Sbu Nkosi, who played for the SA U20s last year, has impressed me with his strong work ethic and he deserves his chance.’
Touring squad – Chiliboy Ralepelle, Coenie Oosthuizen, Etienne Oosthuizen, Franco Marais, Jacques Vermeulen, Jean Droste, Jean-Luc du Preez, Juan Schoeman, Lourens Adriaanse, Philip van der Walt, Ruan Botha, Stephan Coetzee, Stephan Lewies, Tendai Mtawarira, Tera Mtembu, Thomas du Toit, Andre Esterhuizen, Clement Poitrenaud, Cobus Reinach, Curwin Bosch, Jeremy Ward, Kobus van Wyk, Lukhanyo Am, Lwazi Mvovo, Michael Claassens, Patrick Lambie, Sbu Nkosi.
Super Rugby squad – Beast Mtawarira, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Coenie Oosthuizen, Daniel du Preez, Etienne Oosthuizen, Franco Marais, Francois Kleinhans, Hyron Andrews, Jacques Vermeulen, Jean Deysel, Jean Droste, Jean-Luc du Preez, John-Hubert Meyer, Juan Schoeman, Keegan Daniel, Khaya Majola, Lourens Adriaanse, Philip van der Walt, Ruan Botha, Stephan Coetzee, Stephan Lewies, Tera Mtembu, Thomas du Toit, Andre Esterhuizen, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Clement Poitrenaud, Cobus Reinach, Curwin Bosch, Garth April, Hanco Venter, Inny Radebe, Jeremy Ward, Johan Deysel, Kobus van Wyk, Lukhanyo Am, Lwazi Mvovo, Marius Louw, Michael Claassens, Odwa Ndungane, Patrick Lambie (c), Rhyno Smith, Rowan Gouws, S’bura Sithole, Sbu Nkosi, Tristan Blewett.