Plumtree beefs up with his Boks

2008-09-11 00:00

JOHN Plumtree has not meddled unnecessarily, but he has added two Springboks to the starting line-up, and three more to the bench, for tomorrow evening’s Currie Cup outing against the Free State Cheetahs at King’s Park.

Springboks JP Pietersen and Bismarck du Plessis, on the bench against the Blue Bulls last Saturday, are to start tomorrow, while Test players Adrian Jacobs, Beast Mtawarira and Ryan Kankowski will be lurking on a formidable bench.

Injury to centre Brad Barritt (concussion) and lock Alistair Hargreaves (torn calf muscle) has resulted in two of the four changes — one positional — to the team that pipped the Blue Bulls last Saturday.

The only unforced selection is at hooker, where Springbok Bismarck du Plessis starts ahead of Skipper Badenhorst.

The loss of Barritt in midfield has resulted in the switching of Waylon Murray from wing to centre. Pietersen, after showing encouraging form as a second-half replacement against the Bulls, takes over from Murray.

Francois Steyn, outside centre against the Bulls, moves closer to the action and into his preferred position at number 12.

Hooker Bismarck du Plessis joins his brother Jannie in the front-row, while Steven Sykes adds physicality to the pack.

Plumtree had again opted for a 5:2 split on the bench, with scrumhalf Rory Kockott and in-form Springbok Jacobs covering the backline positions. Plumtree has named a full front-row among the reserves (Mtawarira, Badenhorst and young Patric Cilliers) with veteran Bok Albert van den Berg and number eight Ryan Kankowski covering the second row and loose forward.

Kankowski, who has been troubled by a shoulder joint injury, has not played since the Lions game five weeks ago and is being eased back into the action.

The match kicks off at 5.05 pm.

Sharks: 15. Stefan Terblanche; 14. Odwa Ndungane; 13. Waylon Murray; 12. Francois Steyn; 11. JP Pietersen; 10. Frederic Michalak; 9. Ruan Pienaar; 8. Keegan Daniel; 7. Jean Deysel; 6. Jacques Botes; 5. Johann Muller (capt); 4. Steven Sykes; 3. Jannie du Plessis; 2. Bismarck du Plessis; 1. Deon Carstens.

Replacements: 16. Skipper Badenhorst; 17. Patric Cilliers; 18. Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira; 19. Albert van den Berg; 20. Ryan Kankowski; 21. Rory Kockott; 22. Adrian Jacobs.

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