Sharks to unveil squad late

2011-07-29 00:00

THE Sharks have had a disrupted build-up to tomorrow’s big Currie Cup game against the Free State Cheetahs at King’s Park and will wait until the last moment before finalising their team.

Sharks coach John Plumtree said yesterday there will be late fitness tests for both French flyhalf Frederic Michalak (hamstring strain) and former Springbok centre Marius Joubert (ankle).

Both were yesterday named in the starting line-up, but still have to convince their coach of their fitness.

If Michalak is ruled out Jacques-Louis Potgieter will step in at flyhalf while Stefan Terblanche will play at centre if Joubert withdraws. If Joubert is fit, Terblanche will play at fullback with Louis Ludik returning to wing.

The uncertainty over the pair’s availability has resulted in Heimar Williams and Gouws Prinsloo being drafted into the squad as cover.

The Free Staters are delighted that fiery young hooker PW van Vuuren has been passed fit. He limped from the field during the narrow 33-30 loss to the Blue Bulls at Loftus last Saturday and the Free Staters, without both Adriaan Strauss (with the Boks) and the retired Skipper Badenhorst, were facing a hooking crisis.

But both Van Vuuren and wing Ryno Benjamin were yesterday cleared to play and included in the Cheetahs starting line-up.

Highly-rated centre Robert Ebersohn (ankle) will only return next week when both he and flank Heinrich Brüssow are expected to start against Western Province.

The Sharks also face the Free State Cheetahs at U19 (10.45 am) and U21 (12.30 pm) levels on Saturday.

Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl yesterday confirmed this week’s Witness report that Griquas and Springbok fullback Riaan Viljoen will be moving to Durban at the end of the season. Western Province had been hoping to sign Viljoen but Van Zyl said the player had been keen to move to Durban.

The Sharks have also extended Ludik’s contract, but Viljoen’s signing is obviously future cover for the 36-year-old veteran, Stefan Terblanche, who is nearing the end of a long and distinguished career.

TEAMS

Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Mark Richards, 13 Marius Joubert/ Stefan Terblanche, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Frederic Michalak/ Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Dale Chadwick.

Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Eugene van Staden, 18 Jan Marais, 19 Francois Kleinhans, 20 Jacobus Reinach, 21 Jacques-Louis Potgieter/ Heimar Williams, 22 Sibusiso Sithole/ Gouws Prinsloo

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Henni Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Corne Uys, 12 Andries Strauss (captain), 11 Rayno Benjamin, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Johan Wessels, 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 WP Nel, 2 PW van Vuuren, 1 Marcel van der Merwe.

Replacements: 16 Michael van Vuuren, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Izak van der Westhuizen, 19 Pieter Myburgh, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Philip Snyman, 22 Philip Burger.

Referee: Jason Jaftha

Kick-off: 3 pm

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