Sharks’ Bok trio to miss Bulls match

2012-02-07 00:00

THE Sharks will be without three of their most physical, in-your-face Springbok forwards when they take on the Bulls in their Super Rugby opener at Loftus on February 24.

Sharks team doctor Ewoudt van der Linde confirmed yesterday that beefy loose forwards Willem Alberts and Jean Deysel would join Springbok loosehead Beast Mtawarira on the sidelines for the Friday night opening game of the tournament.

Alberts and Deysel both underwent surgery during the close season and have been involved in an intense rehabilitation programme.

“They are recovering well, but we don’t want to rush them and risk aggravating at the start of a long season. They definitely won’t be ready for the Loftus game and we are hoping to have them back for the second round when we play the Stormers at Newlands,” Van der Linde told The Witness.

Mtawarira underwent surgery on his fractured ankle last month and will miss two months of Super Rugby action. The young prop, Dale Chadwick, is an obvious replacement in the front-row.

The 107-kg Marcell Coetzee, a powerful loose forward in the mould of Alberts and Deysel, is an obvious replacement on the flank against the Bulls. Coetzee, a 20-year-old who had an impressive debut season last year, is suffering a slight calf strain and coach John Plumtree rested him for the internal trial on Friday evening.

“The injury is not serious and he should be ready to play against Boland this Friday,” said Van der Linde.

The Sharks doctor said there had been no injuries during the trial.

The Sharks play Boland at King’s Park and Eastern Province in Port Elizabeth over the next two weekends to wrap up their pre-season preparations ahead of the Bulls game.

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