Sharks flanker Jean Deysel has been appointed as the Currie Cup captain. Picture: Steve Haag/ Gallo Images
Flanker Jean Deysel will lead a new-look Sharks side out against Western Province at Newlands in their Currie Cup opener on Saturday night.
With the Sharks and Western Province having lost a number of players to the Springbok cause as well as injury, there will be a number of new faces among the two teams.
The attraction of the Currie Cup, though, is that it provides an opportunity for a number of exciting new players to make their mark on the South African rugby scene, and once again we are sure to see the emergence of future stars this domestic season.
Nevertheless, the Sharks still boast a core of experienced personnel, with coach John Plumtree having appointed 27-year-old Deysel as the captain for the season.
“Jean has been in our system for a few years now,” Plumtree said. “The big thing is that he has a really lovely nature about him and has the respect of the junior and senior players. He’s captained the Vodacom Cup side and was an inspirational figure there, and he’s well-liked by everyone. He is a guy that leads from the front and I also have a good working relationship with him, which is important.”
With the Sharks having made three Currie Cup finals in the last four years, hope will be high that they can once again go all the way this season.
Sharks: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Sbura Sithole, 10 Riaan Viljoen, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean Deysel (c), 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Jandre Marais, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Julian Redelinghuys, 18 Peet Marais, 19 Francois Kleinhans, 20 Conrad Hoffmann, 21 Marius Joubert, 22 Rosko Specman.
Western Province: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Jebb Sinclair, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Don Armand, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Deon Carstens.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Brok Harris, 18 JC Kritzinger, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Damian de Allende