COACH GAMBLES WITH FLYHALVES
Sharks pick Nkosi for Aussie tour
Sharks Super Rugby coach Robert du Preez says Sibusiso Nkosi had made all the right moves to earn a place on the flight to Australia
Sibusiso Sithole was the notable omission from the Sharks squad for their two-match Australasian Super Rugby safari.
His place in the 27-man squad has been taken by the talented Sibusiso Nkosi.
Sharks Super Rugby coach Robert du Preez said he did not doubt Sithole’s talent and work ethic but felt Nkosi had made all the right moves to earn a place on the flight to Australia.
The Sharks kick off their campaign against the Reds in Brisbane next Friday before moving on to the Brumbies in Canberra on March 4. The rest of the 45-man Super Rugby squad was also named.
Du Preez is taking only two flyhalves — Patrick Lambie and Curwin Bosch — on tour.
"It’s hard to leave guys behind because there’s a fine line that one needs to tread when it comes to the forwards and backs split‚" Du Preez said.
" Sbu [Nkosi] has worked very hard and we know what we have in Sbura [Sithole]. He’s very experienced, but Nkosi is one step ahead of him.
" It’s a very long season…. I do think we’ll see Sbura in the mix.
"We were debating whether to take a second flyhalf and some of the options we had were Garth April and Innocent Radebe with Bosch.
"There was little to choose between them."
He was happy with Lambie’s and Bosch’s selection.
"The latter will be covering Pat as our second pivot."
The Reds, flattering to deceive since their title win in 2011, contributed to Australia’s junk status in Super Rugby in 2016. However‚ the Sharks have been known to slip up against Australian opposition, with trips to Sydney and Canberra the least favoured.
Du Preez is aware of this and said the Reds’ reasonable pre-season form made them a team to watch. "They played against the Rebels in a pre season match at Ballymore and it looked to be very hot. That is going to be the conditions we may find ourselves in‚" he said.
"It’s something similar to what we have here but they’ve assembled a very strong squad and they’ve also got Stephen Moore‚ George Smith and Scott Higginbotham.
"They will be a very different proposition this year."
The Lions announced their 40-man Super Rugby with Craven Week star Hacjivah Dayimani the eyebrow-raising selection.