Dick Muir looks set to have a virtually full strength squad available for the match against the Stormers on Saturday night.
Fred Michalak, Odwa Ndungane, Skipper Badenhorst, Steven Sykes and Keegan Daniel are all fit for the game, giving Muir exactly the sort of problem he’d like to have when deciding whom to leave out.
The only casualties from the Force game are Johan Ackermann and Ruan Pienaar, both of whom should be expected to play. AJ Venter suffered a freak dog-walking accident, but again, it’s unlikely to be serious enough to keep him out of the game.
The Wildebeest kick off their Vodacom Cup campaign as well this weekend, so it’s probable that a number of the returning stars (definitely Sykes, but probably Ndungane, Daniel and Badenhorst too) will be given the opportunity to build up match fitness in the reverse strip of white and black. I wouldn’t expect to see many changes to the team that did battle against the Force, although we know that Michalak is sure to come in at 10, meaning a move to the last line of defence for Frans Steyn.
The only real selection dilemma will then be the position of left wing, where Henno Mentz failed to impress. The smart money would be on a move to the wing for Stefan Terblanche, who did his reputation no harm on Friday night. Another option would be to bring Odwa Ndungane straight into his favoured position on the right and shift JP Pietersen across.
If it were me, I’d give Odwa a run with the Wildebeest first, resulting in the following line-up:
Possible Sharks team:
15 Steyn, 14 Pietersen, 13 Murray, 12 Barritt, 11 Terblanche, 10 Michalak, 9 Pienaar, 8 Kankowski, 7 Venter, 6 Botes, 5 Muller (capt), 4 Ackermann, 3 Botha, 2 B du Plessis, 1 Mtawarira