Sharks coach puts veteran Springbok centre in starting line-up

2011-09-16 00:00

VETERAN Springbok centre Marius Joubert, who was put out to pasture by coach John Plumtree last month, has been recalled to the Sharks team to face the Free State Cheetahs in tomorrow’s Currie Cup match in Bloemfontein.

Plumtree, concerned at Joubert’s lack of fitness after playing club rugby for Clermont Auvergne in France, has had him on a conditioning pro-gramme, but the outside centre now returns with another veteran — the 36-year-old Stefan Terblanch, switching to fullback in place of Louis Ludik.

Plumtree said yesterday, “We’ve brought Marius back in after three weeks.

“I just think now it’s a good opportunity to bring him back and see how he goes in the run-in to the play-offs.

“Stef [Terblanche] is back at fullback because a long kicking game is going to be important in Bloemfontein.”

The Sharks have a problem in the front-row with the talented and powerful Wiehahn Herbst suffering from a hip injury.

“Eugene [Van Staden] comes in at tighthead while I’m starting with Jacques Botes on the flank because I need his experience and he’s been playing really well off the bench,” Plumtree added.

Botes takes over from the young Marcell Coetzee, who has started in every game in the Currie Cup this year.

Scrumhalf Charl Mcleod, backrower Ryan Kankowski and lock Ross Skeate are also ruled out by injury.

Anton Bresler replaces Skeate and partners Alistair Hargreaves in the second row while prop Julian Redelinghuys and lock Jandre Marais join the bench.

Sharks assistant coach Grant Bashford said the squad is still looking for “consistency and accuracy”.

He added, “Towards the end of the Pumas game we started playing some of our best rugby, but we’re letting ourselves down with basic mistakes and unforced errors that are preventing us from getting our game going.

“It seems that we have played a whole lot better against the bigger unions than we have against the smaller teams.

“What is encouraging is that in the last couple of years going up to Bloemfontein, we’ve actually had some positive results up there and we believe we’ve got that bogey thing out the way.

“But they have some Springboks back and they will be far better than they were when we beat them in Durban in the first round.”

Bashford said the draw against the Blue Bulls at the weekend will also fire up the Cheetahs.

“They won’t want to slip up at their home ground again this weekend and this is a huge game for both teams,” he added.

Kick-off is at 3.00 pm. Mark Lawrence is the referee.

SHARKS TEAM:

15. Stefan Terblanche 14. Sibusiso Sithole 13. Marius Joubert 12. Meyer Bosman 11. Lwazi Mvovo 10. Frederic Michalak 9. Conrad Hoffmann 8. Keegan Daniel (captain) 7. Jean Deysel 6. Jacques Botes 5. Alistair Hargreaves 4. Anton Bresler 3. Eugene van Staden 2. Craig Burden 1. Dale Chadwick.

Replacements: 16. Kyle Cooper 17. Julian Redelinghuys 18. Jan Andre Marais 19. Marcell Coetzee 20. Ross Cronje 21. Adrian Jacobs 22. Louis Ludik.

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