Injury-hit Sharks still to name team

2012-09-27 00:00

A NUMBER of injury niggles have delayed the announcement of the Sharks team to face the Blue Bulls in tomorrow night’s big Currie Cup clash at King’s Park.

Flank Jean Deysel, who took a knock to the neck during a contact session on Tuesday, is one of the players who faces a fitness test today.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has refused to release the eight Springboks not involved in Saturday’s Test against the Wallabies at Loftus this weekend and two Sharks, hooker Craig Burden and Lwazi Mvovo, will play no rugby this weekend. Both turned out for the Sharks at Ellis Park last Saturday and coach John Plumtree has to find replacements.

He now has options at hooker with Kyle Cooper back from injury and joining Monde Hadebe and Pieter Dixon in the squad.

The choice as a wing replacement could be either Sbu Sithole or Rosko Specman unless Plumtree rejigs his backline to include fit-again Paul Jordaan in the starting line-up.

Jordaan played off the bench against the Lions, but Plumtree could field him on the wing.

There is also the possibility that he will play the in-form Louis Ludik on the wing, shift centre Meyer Bosman to flyhalf — to allow Jordaan to play in the midfield — and return flyhalf Riaan Viljoen to fullback.

Assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards said that Sharks were aware that they had to win all three of their remaining games (against the Bulls, Free State in Bloemfontein and Griquas in Durban) if they were to finish top of the log and host a potential final.

“The competition is so tight that you could be fourth one week and second the next, or sink right to the bottom.

“The way the Bulls played last week, and the passion they showed, was because they are under the cosh.

“But so are we now. Both sides will throw a lot into this game and playing the Bulls at King’s Park is always a massive match.”

South African Rugby Referees’ Association boss Andre Watson is using the Currie Cup competition to develop young, inexperienced officials — the country’s top referee Craig Joubert has, reportedly, blown only one Premier game — but the Bulls and Sharks will be relieved that the respected Mark Lawrence is handling their game tomorrow at 7.10 pm.

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