Pienaar likely, but Jacobs doubtful

2009-04-27 00:00

THE Sharks are hoping that Springbok flyhalf Ruan Pienaar will return to their starting line-up for Saturday’s Super 14 game against the Highlanders in Durban, but they could now be without Adrian Jacobs.

Pienaar ran at practice last night, said assistant coach Grant Bashford, and came through well.

“We’ll have to see how the knee reacts overnight, but we are hoping he will be there on Saturday.”

The inclusion of Pienaar would allow Frans Steyn to move back to his more natural position of inside centre.

The Sharks, back from their weekend bye, were hoping to field a full-strength side for the rest of the Super 14, but there are doubts over Jacobs, the current Bok centre. Jacobs has shown excellent Super 14 form, but he damaged a shoulder against the Crusaders and the injury is causing some concern. A decision on his fitness wil be taken later in the week.

With the powerful Waylon Murray still not fully recoverd from his injury, head coach John Plumtree has drafted Andries Strauss into the Sharks squad. Strauss has been impressive playing for the unbeaten Sharks XV in the Vodacom Cup.

The Sharks will have the powerful Jean Deysel back from injury and starting off the side of the scrum.

The Sharks need to win their remaining three games (against the Highlanders, Waratahs and Bulls), and pick up a couple of bonus points, if they are to finish in the top two on the log and host a semi-final.

Saturday’s match against the Highlanders, who were beaten 18-11 by the Stormers in Dunedin at the weekend, kicks off at 3 pm . The main curtain-raiser will be the Vodacom Cup semi-final between the Sharks XV and Griquas.

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