Eben Etzebeth teases strongest Sharks lineup yet ahead of Ulster clash

Eben Etzebeth teases strongest Sharks lineup yet ahead of Ulster clash

Sharks lock Eben Etzebeth believes they could run out their strongest team yet in Saturday's United Rugby Championship clash against Ulster.

The Durban franchise has endured a torrid run of form in the URC and are currently firmly at the bottom of the standings. A changing of the guard in management and a string of injuries to key players has hampered the Sharks' campaign.Etzebeth has been sidelined for the better part of a month following minor knee surgery.

But with the return of Springboks Etzebeth and Vincent Koch, to name a few, Sharks coach John Plumtree is set to have plenty of potent options this weekend.  

"It is the first time this season that we've got most of our players playing," confirmed Etzebeth on Rugby365.com. 

"As a collective, it's probably the strongest 23 we could've picked so far.

"It will be a boost to have everyone back. It's still a work in progress, we still have to put it out on the field. It's easy to think about names coming back, but at the end of the day, it's what happens on Saturday that counts.

"For us and for me it's about getting results and we are not getting that. So we as senior players, as youngsters and everyone at the Sharks, we have to put all that talent together and produce on the field."

While the Sharks are likely out of the race to make the top eight in the URC, the Challenge Cup provides them an opportunity to rescue their season. After two URC home games at Kings Park, they host Zebre on 7 April in the Round of 16. Understandably, the team wants momentum heading into the knockout clash.  

"We've got a couple of home games left, we will obviously target that," continued the double World Cup winner. 

"We want to target the Challenge Cup and see if we can go far in that competition and try to make the last bit of the season a successful one.

"The Challenge Cup is our way into the Champions Cup next year. I think a top-eight finish in the URC is not possible anymore. Which is disappointing at this stage of the season already."

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