Sharks focus on clash with the Blues

2013-06-26 00:00

SPRINGBOK hooker Bismarck du Plessis says the boardroom shenanigans will not impact on the Sharks’ Super Rugby performance against the Auckland Blues at King’s Park on Saturday.

Du Plessis said the Sharks were keeping their heads down and concentrating on their rugby.

“We are not involved in what’s happening at the boardroom,” the burly hooker said yesterday.

“The Sharks have been underperforming this year and we are concentrating on winning.”

Du Plessis said that the Sharks had already been written off this year.

“I don’t think people are giving us a chance of making the playoffs, but we’re still in contention and that gives us a lot of motivation for this weekend’s game against the Blues.”

Reflecting on his extended injury break following major knee surgery, Du Plessis said it had been a long 10 months.

“It has been a lonely road back and I learned a lot about myself. To be able to wear the black and white jersey of the Sharks again this weekend would be a massive privilege for me.”

Du Plessis came off the bench in the Springboks’ last two Tests — against Scotland and Samoa — without any strapping to his knee, and he settled in quickly.

“I wouldn’t say I am exactly where I want to be, but I am close to where I was. That’s a major focus for me, to just regain a spot in the Sharks 22 and push for the number two jersey. The future will look after itself from there,” he said.

“You only improve by playing rugby, not by working in the gym or on the training field.”

Team doctor Alan Kourie yesterday revealed that seven regulars are sidelined by injury.

They are Wiehahn Herbst (groin), Tim Whitehead (arm fracture), Craig Burden (neck), Frans Steyn (knee surgery), Meyer Bosman (knee surgery), Jandre Marais (ankle sprain) and JP Pietersen (groin surgery).

Players again available for selection are Cobus Reinach, Jacques Botes and Ryan Kankowski, while Butch James and Heimar Williams face fitness tests later in the week.

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