The Sharks and Lions have already had to name late changes to their squads as a result of players failing fitness tests. The Stormers may well have to do the same.
It was reported yesterday that Lions centre Jaco Pretorius had been withdrawn from the must-win clash against the Force, having failed to recover from a knock he picked up against the Blues (not sure why… running backwards and clasping at thin air shouldn’t hurt). Pretorius’s position at 13 goes to jack-of-all-trades Jaco van Schalkwyk, with winger Jannie Boshoff coming onto the bench.
News this morning is that Sharks hooker Bismarck du Plessis will not be risked against the Bulls, giving credence to the story we ran on Monday. Seems that Bissie’s ribs may be more than just bruised and that the official “denial” of his injury on the Sharks site was nothing other than a smokescreen. You didn’t have us fooled, boys!
Rudolph Scheepers Badenhorst comes straight into the number 2 jersey in a straight swap for du Plessis, with retreaded wing/centre Craig Burden remaining on the bench. It’s a big ask for Skipper, who himself has only just come back from a knee injury, but the former Pumas man seems to revel in the atmosphere at Loftus, so here’s hoping he manages to keep the fiery Derick Kuün in check…
The Stormers, already reeling from the suspension of Schalk Burger this week, may also have to do without the services of inspirational loose forward-cum-flyhalf Luke Watson. It appears that SuperLuke is, in fact, susceptible to the common cold just like the rest of us mere mortals and has been feeling decidedly average all week. Should he fail to recover in time, expect to see ex-Natal schoolboy Robbie Diack take his place at the back of the scrum.Tweet