Bok squad selection leaves Plumtree hanging

2009-06-03 00:00

THE Sharks meet the British Lions at King’s Park in exactly a week and head coach John Plumtree still has no idea who will be available for the big game.

The Sharks have 10 players in the 28-man Springbok squad and Plumtree said last night that he had received no indication whether any would be released for the British Lions game.

It had been anticipated that Frans Steyn and Ruan Pienaar, both sidelined for weeks with injuries and desperately short of match practice, would be given a run next Wednesday to test their form and fitness.

“I don’t expect to have either of them,” said Plumtree. “I would think they would be in the Boks’ final Test match squad of 22. I’m hoping that a couple of the players not in the match squad, perhaps chaps like Ryan Kankowski and Odwa Ndungane, may be released, but I just don’t know.”

Plumtree said he has not been in contact with the Springbok management. “I’m hoping to have some clarity by the weekend and that will leave us just a couple of days for preparation for the Lions game. But we will field the team that will be playing in the Currie Cup.”

The Sharks will have regulars Stefan Terblanche, Rory Kockott, locks Johann Muller and Steven Sykes, prop Jannie du Plessis and loose forwards Keegan Daniel, Jacques Botes and Jean Deysel available and will have to dig into his reserves to cover the front-row, flyhalf, centre and wing.

“We have players with some Super 14 experience in wings Chris Jordaan and Luzuko Vulindlu, centres Riaan Swanepoel and Andries Strauss, flyhalf Monty Dumond and prop Patric Cilliers,” he said.

Plumtree had just the two predic­table criticisms of the Springbok squad named on Monday night.

“I don’t know why they didn’t choose a specialist fullback when they had two in-form players in the Super 14 in Stefan Terblanche and Zane Kirchner.”

Plumtree was also surprised that that Sharks loosehead prop Deon Carstens had been named as back-up for tighthead John Smit.

“I’m very happy for Deon, but he hasn’t played on the tighthead in the Super 14, and I think it will be unfair and place him under huge pressure if something happens to John (Smit) and he suddenly has to come on and play tighthead.”

Bok coach Peter de Villiers has refused to confirm who will play at fullback in the first Test in Durban on June 20, but instead, listed the players who could fill the gap with Sharks wing JP Pietersen heading his list.

But Plumtree said he didn’t expect Pietersen to be switched to fullback.

“JP has shown excellent form on the wing and you don’t want to start fielding players out of position in a Test match.

“I would think Frans Steyn would be the likely choice with perhaps Jaque Fourie as back-up, if he is not fit. But it is a specialist position and it just seems an unnecessary risk.”

The Sharks have been given a break since losing to the Bulls in their last Super 14 game and now set about defending their Currie Cup title.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.