Boeta Chamberlain (Gallo)
sharks coach Sean Everitt named his team for their URC opener against Italian side zebre in Parma on Friday evening.
Boeta Chamberlain starts at flyhalf, with Fred Zeilinga provide cover in the bank. Zeilinga, who rejoined the Lions’ Sharks, was called up to the touring party after flying halves 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 rear, Springbok center Rohan Janse van Rensburg makes his first official start for the Sharks, along with Ben Tapuai in midfield.
Up front, Bok prop Thomas du Toit leads the team after retaining the captaincy for the 2022/23 season.
“The preparations have gone well, apart from the injuries that Curwin Bosch and Lionel Cronje sustained, but Boeta showed enough in those exhibition games against the Lions and Stormers that he is ready to take over the number 10 jersey,” said Everitt.
Despite Zebre winning just one game last season, Everitt warned the Italians could be dangerous.
“Zebre is going to be a tough nut to crack at home,” the coach said. “They put in a good performance against Leinster last weekend (33-29 down) and I don’t think anyone would have thought the game would be so close; they were unlucky not to get the result.
“We have no illusions about what to expect on Friday night and we know that this competition is ruthless, as some teams found out during the first weekend’s action.”
Friday’s game starts at 6:30 PM.
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