Eugene Eloff may be forced to make some changes to his team to face the Sharks as a result of injuries sustained in last weekend’s bludgeon-fest at Loftus Versveld.
Flyhalf Louis Strydom is definitely out and will be on the sidelines for the better part of the next month. The former Falcons pivot has really struggled to stamp his authority on the game at this level and his unavailability may well force the Lions to blood someone with more potential. It seem as though Jaco van Schalkwyk will be the man entrusted with the job and this may bode well for the Joburg team. The man from the Free State has put in some decent performance in the number 10 shirt over the years, although he has never been afforded an extended run in the position.
Of more concern will be the doubts around Cobus “Baywatch” Grobbelaar. The talismanic opensider has been huge for the Lions so far this year, as he has for the last two seasons (yet somehow, bafflingly, always missed out on higher honours). Baywatch has a bruised hip and should he fail to recover, youngster Wilhelm Koch will make his Super Rugby debut in the number 6 shirt. Thinking about the dual fetching threat posed by the Sharks flankers, Eloff is certain to be holding thumbs and crossing fingers that Grobbelaar will be passed fit.
The news in the Sharks camp is far better, as BJ Botha (the only serious injury doubt after the win over the Blues) should apparently be fit. Deon Carstens, AJ Venter and Ruan Pienaar should all return to the selection frame this week, giving Dick Muir a veritable smörgåsbord of options from which to choose.Tweet