Sharks: Bok players return to the tank

2008-07-21 00:00

Help is on its way for John Plumtree and his Sharks with four Springboks released for Saturday’s Currie Cup match against the Lions at King’s Park.

The Springbok management said yesterday that wing Odwa Ndungane, utility back Ruan Pienaar, prop Beast Mtawarira and number eight Ryan Kankowski (subject to medical clearance) had been released by the Springboks.

The four all returned from their Tri-Nations tour on Sunday evening, but they have all seen only limited action in recent weeks and clearly need game time.

Five other Springboks have been released to their provinces. They are: Bolla Conradie, Peter Grant, Schalk Brits and Brian Mujati (all Western Province) and Free State hooker Adriaan Strauss.

The Springboks assemble again on Wednesday, August 30, in Pretoria to prepare for their next Test — against Argentina at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on August 9.

The Sharks were badly exposed by the Free State Cheetahs at the weekend and the return of some of their Springboks could not come at a better time.

Certainly Ndungane and Pienaar will provide the backline with direction and penetration while the ball-carrying ability of Kankowski, if he is fit, and Mtawarira should provide the pack with added momentum.

The Lions are lying second on the Currie Cup log with the Sharks now in fourth place.

Saturday’s match at King’s Park kicks off at 5.05 pm.

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