Sharks name touring squad
Sharks boss Jake White has named a 27 man touring squad that will travel to Australia and New Zealand for their month-long overseas tour.
The Sharks are currently the tournament favourites with bookmakers like Paddy Power. The selection of Odwa Ndungane, Cobus Reinach, and Fred Zeilinga suggests the trio are all going to be fit at some stage on tour, having missed various amounts of the competition at present.
The Durban-based franchise will leave for Australia on Saturday, following Friday's clash with the Highlanders at Kings Park.
Their first match of the four week tour sees them up against the Melbourne Rebels next Friday, followed by their second Australian game against the Brumbies in Canberra the week after (Saturday, May 10).
The second half of their tour sees them up against New Zealand opposition, the Crusaders (Saturday, May 17) and the Blues (Friday, May 23). On their return to South Africa, they will be hosting the Stormers in their final home game of the pool stages. A good tour should see them aim for the finals and the Sharks are a decent bet to at 4/1.
Having stuck largely with the same squad for the first half of the competition, Jake White is aware of the need to give players a break and others some game time, all balancing that with the dynamics of team selection.
"It's a difficult time for me now because I need to start rotating players," he told the Sharks' official website.
"Not because it's a tour but after this weekend's match, we're nine games into 16 matches of the pool stages. A lot of thought goes into how we are going to use on this tour in terms of selecting our squad.
"I've gone for 15 forwards and 12 backs, and my selection was based on who is fit and healthy. The nice thing is that there are a lot of guys who can play in different positions, we have a lot of players who can cover one or two positions which is good when you're selecting a touring squad."
Sharks touring squad:
Forwards: Lourens Adriaanse, Willem Alberts, Dale Chadwick, Marcell Coetzee, Kyle Cooper, Keegan Daniel, Jean Deysel, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Wiehahn Herbst, Ryan Kankowski, Stephan Lewies, Tendai Mtawarira, Tera Mtembu, Etienne Oosthuizen.
Backs: Paul Jordaan, SP Marais, Charl McLeod, Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndungane, JP Pietersen, Cobus Reinach, S'bura Sithole, Francois Steyn, Tim Swiel, Heimar Williams, Fred Zeilinga.