Muir closes in on Bok assistant role

2008-03-25 00:00

Dick Muir yesterday confirmed that he and Stormers forward coach Gary Gold had been identified by SA Rugby as possible assistants to Springbok coach Peter de Villiers.

Muir said that he and Gold were "in the process of sorting out contracts."

But, Muir emphasised, the switch to coaching at international level "would not affect the Sharks’ Super 14 campaign in the least."

Muir is, meanwhile, waiting on the fitness of utility players AJ Venter and Adrian Jacobs before settling on his line-up for Saturday evening’s Super 14 outing against the Queensland Reds at King’s Park.

Muir said yesterday that Venter had a "minor issue" with his elbow after a small operation while Jacobs is nursing a slight hamstring strain.

"Both injuries are light but the team’s composition will depend on whether they play or not," he said.

Muir said that he could start with Venter at lock (if he is fit) to add to the mobility of the Sharks pack, with Albert van den Berg used off the bench in the second half.

He said he had been impressed with the well-organised Reds, who had improved from last year.

"They have worried us in the past and we are wary of them. They showed in thumping the Bulls that they can mix it with anyone."

Muir is also considering selecting Francois Steyn at flyhalf again. Steyn took time to settle against the Lions, but Muir is determined to rotate his players.

"Fred (Michalak) has plenty of experience and he will be needed for our overseas tour. He also makes a massive impact off the bench, so we may use him there on Saturday."

Muir said that Tongan Epi Taione would also be used in a rotational role, while Ruan Pienaar would probably start at scrumhalf.

"It is a real bonus to have such depth at scrumhalf and it certainly does not mean that Rory Kockott has been dropped. Ruan can play in so many positions and his versatility enables us to have five forwards and two backs on the bench."

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