Du Plessis excited by brother’s return

2013-05-23 00:00

JANNIE du Plessis believes that the quicker his baby brother gets back on the horse the better it will be for the Springbok hooker … and the Sharks.

Bismarck du Plessis has spent nine months on the sidelines since undergoing major knee surgery but he has been fully involved in the Sharks’ contact sessions this week and is expected to play off the bench against the Bulls at King’s Park on Saturday night.

Tighthead Jannie du Plessis, a medical doctor, believes that Bismarck’s rehabilitation is complete and he is ready for combat.

“It’s great for me to have him back because we’ve played a lot of rugby together. But it’s great for him as well. Sometimes having a long injury like that can eat away at your confidence and you start doubting yourself. But I think the quicker he gets back on the horse now the better it will be.

“It’s just nice to have him back. His throwing in at the lineouts was very good at training and he’s fitted back in easily when we were doing scrumwork.”

The elder Du Plessis said everything felt familiar and comfortable with Bismarck back in the front-row.

“It’s like getting back into that old car again. You just get in and it almost drives itself. It’s wonderful to have him back. Last year when he came back from injury, he really lifted the team and gave us some renewed energy.

“So it has been great to have him back at training this week and have his deep voice shouting in the background. It makes you really feel like you’re home with some familiar sights and sounds.”

He said his 114 kg brother would continue to play “a very confrontational type of game”.

“That’s the way the Bulls are as well but I’d rather have him on my side than against me.

“Saturday’s game against the Bulls is our most important game of the season, so we need to build on what we produced in beating the Force last Friday.”

There were two other old faces back at training this week, loosehead prop Beast Mtawarira and flyhalf Butch James.

Head coach John Plumtree has kept his head down this week, steering clear of the media, but it is unlikely that he will risk any of these rusty players (James, Du Plessis and Mtawarira) in his starting line-up. But he may well include one or two of them among the replacements when he names his team today.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke announced his team yesterday and recalled veteran Springbok centre Wynand Olivier. He will take over from young Jan Serfontien in the midfield while Bjorn Basson dislodges Lionel Mapoe on the wing.

Ludeke also recalled Springboks Werner Kruger and Dean Greyling to the front-row in place of Frik Kirsten and Morné Mellett.

Francois Hougaard is again preferred to the in-form Jano Vermaak at scrumhalf.

The match kicks off at 7.10 pm with Jonathan Kaplan the referee.

Bulls team: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling

Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouché /Jan Serfontein, 22 Lionel Mapoe

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