Sharks coach Sean Everitt once again had to explain his decision to keep Curwin Bosch at fullback rather than the player’s preferred position, flyhalf, for the side’s United Rugby Championship (URC) opener.
The men from KwaZulu-Natal will mark their first involvement in the URC by taking on Munster in Limerick, Ireland on Saturday at 8.35 pm, SA time.
Everitt announced his squad for the outing with Bosch at fullback and young Boeta Chamberlain at flyhalf, forming a halfback pairing with veteran scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, on loan from the Cheetahs.
The coach has been selecting Bosch at No 15 during the latter stages of the Currie Cup with Lionel Cronjé, who has left after his loan deal expired, being picked at 10.
“It’s quite easy actually. We are looking for a kicking option at fullback and Aphelele Fassi, who has got a big left foot, is with the Springboks,” said Everitt on Thursday.
“We used to have a left-footer and kicker at 12 in Andre Esterhuizen, but he is not here anymore.
“So we feel that with Curwin’s ability on the counter-attack, his big boot, and the way that Munster play, he is going to be valuable for us at 15.
“That is the decision that we made a few weeks back.”
When Everitt took over the hot seat in 2019, he made it clear that Bosch would be played at flyhalf.
This after the player was frustrated and considered leaving the Sharks as former coach Robert du Preez kept playing him at No. 15.
Heading to their first ever match of the competition, Everitt is confident of a good start as he claims to have had a proper study of the opponent that is coached by a South African, Johan van Graan.
“We have had a good look at them over the last three weeks and during the Currie Cup we did some studying on the oppositions that we are going to play,” he said.
“We’ve done our homework, but once again it’s a challenge because you don’t know until you are actually on the field and experience what they bring from a physicality point of view.
“But we prepared well. They are a well-coached team, they are well drilled, and they don’t give you much to play from.
“But we’ve got a few ideas on how to take them on, it’s just about execution on the day.”
The coach also believes having Pienaar, who has played a number of years in Ireland with Ulster, will come in handy for the Durbanites.
“The reason for Ruan selection is obviously his experience playing in Ireland and we are also playing a young 10 in Boeta Chamberlain, who has trained really well this week,” said Everitt.
“Ruan is a leader in his own rights, and he certainly brings a lot of leadership to the team and obviously he understands what needs to be done to get the result against the team that we are playing against.”
15. Curwin Bosch, 14. Yaw Penxe, 13. Werner Kok, 12. Marius Louw, 11. Thaakir Abrahams, 10. Boeta Chamberlain, 9. Ruan Pienaar, 8. Phepsi Buthelezi (capt), 7. Henco Venter, 6. Dylan Richardson, 5. Gerbrandt Grobler, 4. Le Roux Roets, 3. Thomas du Toit, 2. Kerron van Vuuren, 1. Khwezi Mona.
Substitutes: 16. Fez Mbatha, 17. Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18. Khutha Mchunu, 19. Mpilo Gumede, 20. Ruben van Heerden, 21. Hyron Andrews, 22. Sanele Nohamba, 23. Jeremy Ward.
Zebre v Lions — 6.35 pm
Cardiff v Connacht — 8.35 pm
Ulster Glasgow Warriors — 8.35 pm
Benetton v Stormers— 2 pm
Leinster v Bulls — 6.15 pm
Edinburgh v Scarlets — 6.15 pm
Munster v Sharks — 8.35 pm
Dragons v Ospreys — 3 pm