Plumtree to recall seniors in Dunedin

2013-05-02 00:00

SHARKS coach John Plumtree is set to recall most of his regulars for Saturday’s Super Rugby outing against the Highlanders in Dunedin after they were rested against the Chiefs.

Plumtree, for a variety of reasons, made 10 changes for the game in Hamilton and the news from Queenstown is that he will make six more when he names his team today, with a host of his senior players returning against the Highlanders.

Keegan Daniel is to return as captain, but will play at flank with the young Tera Mtembu, who enjoyed an excellent debut against the Chiefs, retained at number eight.

Bok flank Marcell Coetzee will also be back to complete the loose trio with flanks Jean Deysel and Derrick Minnie dropping to the bench.

Wings JP Pietersen and Lwazi Mvovo are up and running after suffering injuries. Plumtree is considering fielding Pietersen at outside centre, but Frans Steyn showed signs of returning to life against the Chiefs and he could again start out of position at 13.

The Sharks coach faces an awkward selection at loosehead now that specialist JC Janse van Rensburg, who is on loan from the Lions, has joined the squad. The indications are that Plumtree will retain tighthead Wiehahn Herbst on the loosehead after his strong showing against the Chiefs and play Van Rensburg off the bench.

Kyle Cooper seems certain to return at hooker for Craig Burden, with lock Franco van der Merwe rejoining Pieter-Steph du Toit in the second row. There will be one new face on the bench with scrumhalf Tian Meyer.

The Highlanders are coming off a bye last weekend and are determined to end their nightmare run which has seen them lose eight games on the trot. Critics in New Zealand are at a loss to explain the Highlanders’ lack of success after they bolstered their squad with a number of close season, big-name signings.

Former All Black and Lions (Cats) coach Laurie Mains believes the Highlanders made the mistake of replacing a core of young and exciting players with high profile players in the twilight of their careers.

He said it was wrong to axe captain Jamie McIntosh, who epitomised the enthusiasm in a young Highlander side, with All Blacks loosehead prop Tony Woodcock.

Still, the Highlanders have a number of internationals in their side with strong centre Tamati Ellison, after an extended injury break, rejoining another All Black in Ma’a Nonu in the midfield.

Hosea Gear, an excellent finisher, is on the wing while the Highlanders have an experienced tight five which includes All Blacks in captain and hooker Andrew Hore, grizzled lock Brad Thorn and Woodcock.

Saturday’s game kicks off at 9.35 am (SA time) with Steve Walsh, a New Zealander based in Australia, the referee.

This weekend’s fixtures (home team first, SA times)

Tomorrow: Blues v Stormers — 9.35 am

Rebels v Chiefs — 11.40 am

Saturday: Highlanders v Sharks — 9.35 am

Force v Reds — 11.40

Kings v Waratahs — 5.05 pm

Bulls v Hurricanes — 7.10 pm

Sunday: Brumbies v Crusaders — 7.05 am

Bye: Cheetahs

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.