Boeta Chamberlain (Gallo)
Sharks coach Sean Everitt has named his team for their URC opener against Italian side Zebre in Parma on Friday night.
Boeta Chamberlain starts at flyhalf, with Fred Zeilinga providing cover on the bench. Zeilinga, who re-joined the Sharks from the Lions, was called up to the touring party after flyhalves Curwin Bosch and Lionel Cronje were sidelined with injuries.
Bosch suffered a hand fracture and will be out for six to eight weeks, while Cronje is out for a similar period with a forearm fracture.
Elsewhere in the backline, Springbok centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg makes his first official start for the Sharks, partnering with Ben Tapuai in midfield.
Up front, Bok prop Thomas du Toit leads the team after retaining the captaincy for the 2022/23 season.
“Preparations have gone well, apart from the injuries picked up by Curwin Bosch and Lionel Cronje, but Boeta showed enough in those pre-season friendlies against the Lions and Stormers that he’s ready to take over the No 10 jersey,” Everitt said.
Despite Zebre winning only one game last season, Everitt warned the Italians could be dangerous.
“Zebre will be a tough nut to crack at home,” the coach said. “They put on a good performance against Leinster last weekend (going down 33-29) and I don’t think anyone would have believed the game would be so close; they were unfortunate not to get the result.
“We’re under no illusions as to what we’re facing on Friday night and we know this competition is unforgiving as some of the teams found out in the first weekend’s action.”
Friday’s match kicks off at 18:30.
15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Dylan Richardson, 6 James Venter, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Thomas du Toit (captain), 2 Kerron van Vurren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu
Substitutes: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Justin Basson, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Marnus Potgieter