Du Preez & Fassi get Sharks start

Flanker Tyler Paul shifts into Jacques Vermeulen’s position on the side of the scum, allowing an opening for Springbok Jean-Luc du Preez to get his first start for the Sharks since being injured.

Sharks coach Robert du Preez (center). Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Sharks head coach Robert du Preez has made two changes to the team that beat the Lions last week for Saturday’s Currie Cup final against Western Province at Newlands.

Flanker Tyler Paul shifts into Jacques Vermeulen’s position on the side of the scum, allowing an opening for Springbok Jean-Luc du Preez to get his first start for the Sharks since being injured.

Having only recently returned from injury, Du Preez has played off the bench in the last couple of games, but after being sidelined for three and a half months explained how his return has been managed.

“Playing off the bench has been good for me, obviously coming back from a long-term injury, I was gradually eased into action and it’s great to be back”

The loss to Western Province in the pool stages provided timely lessons which Du Preez explains can only be in his team’s favour.

“We can take a lot out of that game as we can from last week’s game against the Lions. In both matches we didn’t play for a full 80 minutes, we got a bit complacent. We’re focussing on the full 80, or the full 90 if that’s what it takes.

“The focus is on us right now, not on Western Province, although we know it’s going to be a huge clash. They have a massive pack, we have a big pack too, so it’s the old cliché again: it will all be won up front. It will be huge. If all eight and the forwards off the bench all put up our hands, it will be good.”

In the other change, young winger Aphelele Fassi replaces Lwazi Mvovo, who was concussed in last week’s match.