Dumond to join Sharks for match with Force

2009-03-16 00:00

Utility back Monty Dumond will fly to Perth tomorrow to join the Sharks squad ahead of their Super 14 game against the Force on Saturday.

Dumond is flying in to replace Ruan Pienaar, who damaged a knee ligament in the Sharks’ disappointing defeat to the Reds in Brisbane at the weekend.

Pienaar is on his way home and he will have the injury assessed in Durban on his return. The initial diagnosis was a medial ligament strain which should sideline him for three weeks.

Brian van Zyl, Sharks CEO, told The Witness yesterday that Dumond, who has shown good form for the Sharks XV in the Vodacom Cup, was travelling to Perth as back-up in case of further injury in the build-up to Saturday’s final tour game.

Frans Steyn will take over from Pienaar at flyhalf.

Van Zyl said that centre Waylon Murray, who has played no rugby this season but was originally included in the tour squad, is finally back to full fitness and “looking good”.

“He is not yet ready for Super 14 rugby, but will probably play for the Sharks XV this weekend,” said Van Zyl.

The Sharks XV, unbeaten and heading the Vodacom Cup log, are meeting Western Province in Empangeni on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Western Force utility back Scott Staniforth may be rushed back into the strating line-up for the match against the Sharks.

The Force picked up several injuries in their 23-23 weekend draw with the Crusaders.

Cameron Shepherd, who played on the wing, is suffering from a sprained ankle and looks set to miss the Sharks game, while fellow wing Nick Cummins (hamstring) is also doubtful.

Staniforth, who underwent knee surgery during the off-season, played 12 minutes off the bench against the Cheetahs in round two but has missed the Force’s last three games.

The Force have won just eight of their last 21 matches at their home venue.

However, their coach John Mitchell said the team members were in confident mood after their draw against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

“It’s very tight on the ladder so we just have to look after our own backyard against the Sharks,” Mitchell told Associated Press.

“We are one of few sides in Australia and New Zealand that have been on the road for three weeks, so to get seven out of 12 points is pleasing.”

Skipper of the Force, Nathan Sharpe, said the team’s spirits are high after the testing road trip.

“We’ve been on the road, we’ve finished our biggest road trip and we’ve gone through half our away games now,” Sharpe said.

“There’s plenty of games left at home and that leaves us in good shape.

“It’s a big game for us this weekend and we certainly want to focus on getting the job done at home against the Sharks.”

The match kicks off at 12.45 pm (SA time) on Saturday afternoon.

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