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Craig Burden

Flip van der Merwe

Flip van der Merwe

JJ Engelbrecht

JJ Engelbrecht

Gurthrö Steenkamp

Gurthrö Steenkamp

Bakkies Botha

Bakkies Botha

Bakkies Botha will be joined by 3 South African Test players and 1 Ex-Sharks player who has formed part of the Springbok squad in the confirmed World XV squad for their match on Saturday 11 July at DHL Newlands in Cape Town against the Springboks.

The World XV squad boasts a combined total of 460 Test caps and represents 6 nations.

Rugby World Cup winning forwards Bakkies Botha (Toulon) and Gurthrö Steenkamp (Toulouse) will be joined by the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ JJ Engelbrecht and Flip Van der Merwe, as well as former Cell C Sharks hooker Craig Burden (Toulon), a Springbok tourist in 2012, in the 23-man squad which will be coached by former Wallaby and Crusaders mentor Robbie Deans.

The match will be the Springboks’ 1st of the 2015 season before a shortened Castle Later Rugby Championship. It will be a stern test for Heyneke Meyer’s team as they start their preparations for the Rugby World Cup later this year in England.

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Bakkies Botha

Bakkies Botha

Springbok lock Bakkies Botha, who announced his retirement from international rugby late last year, will head up a strong group of Test icons for the match between South Africa and a World XV at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday 11 July 2015.

Botha is 1 of 9 Toulon players who will line up against the Springboks. The giants from the south of France recently won their 3rd consecutive European club title.

Toulon coach Bernard Laporte, who was previously in charge of the French national team, will assist former Wallaby and Crusaders coach Robbie Deans with the World XV.

Botha’s Toulon team-mates who have been confirmed for the World XV are Delon Armitage (fullback), David Smith (wing), Rudi Wulf (centre), Maxime Mermoz (centre), Steffon Armitage (loose forward), Ali Williams (lock), Craig Burden (hooker) and Alexandre Menini (prop).

Added to this list are Springbok and Vodacom Bulls centre JJ Engelbrecht, Wallaby scrumhalf Luke Burgess and France scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud. The World XV will be captained by Louis-Benoit Madaule, who plays on the flank for French club Bordeaux Begles.

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Jonathan Sexton

Jonathan Sexton

Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton faces a race against time to be fit for the autumn internationals after breaking his jaw while playing for Racing Metro.

The 29-year-old British and Irish Lions star was injured in a heavy clash with Craig Burden in Sunday’s French top-flight contest against Toulon.

South African hooker Burden was sin-binned for the challenge.

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Bryan Habana, Bakkies Botha, Juan Smith & Danie Rossouw at Toulon

Bryan Habana, Bakkies Botha, Juan Smith & Danie Rossouw at Toulon

Toulon’s South African contingent capped an unbelievably successful seven days by lifting the Bouclier de Brennus shield in Paris, after defeating Castres 18-10 in the Top 14 Final to go with their Heineken Cup title.

Former England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson was given the perfect send-off by Bakkies Botha, Juan Smith, Craig Burden and Bryan Habana, who all started the final, with Danie Rossouw and Michael Claassens appearing off the bench.

The match was Rossouw’s last before retirement and brings down the curtain on a truly glorious career in which he was won every trophy available to him, from league titles in Japan, France and Super Rugby to two Heineken Cups and of course the Rugby World Cup and old Tri-Nations.

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Jonny WilkinsonCraig BurdenToulonHolders Toulon look set to be able to call on influential flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson and hooker Craig Burden for the European Cup semifinal against Munster.

The pair, out injured for the past two weeks, have reported fit and both turned out for training on Monday.

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Craig BurdenWhilst it is already old news that Craig Burden was planning a move to French giants, Toulon, it has now been confirmed that he has been signed by European champions Toulon as cover for the injured Sebastien Bruno.

The 28-year-old uncapped Springbok, who has played at the Sharks since 2006, could make his debut in the European Cup next weekend.

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The SharksIn this Article we look at the contenders for HOOKER at the Sharks 2013 Super Rugby group.

The Sharks have pretty decent depth at Hooker where they would start with the Hooker that probably tops the world ratings in his position, and although he has just gone through  major knee surgery is seems according to some reports that he should be ready to take his place in the starting line-up come mid March 2013.

This means he would miss the first two to three weeks of Super Rugby thus leaving a huge hole in the Sharks front row, but now open chance for either Craig Burden or Kyle Cooper to show their skills and if they can handle the pressures of Super Rugby as a starting Hooker.

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