The Sharks may have sustained a massive blow to their chances of retaining their unbeaten record against the Brumbies in Canberra this weekend.
Gavin Rich writes for Supersport that skipper and key lock Johann Muller burst an eardrum in Dunedin last weekend and was reportedly in considerable pain when the Sharks flew from New Zealand to Australia, where matches against the Brumbies and the Waratahs await them.
The word from Australia is that it is highly unlikely that Muller will play against the Brumbies, which means that coach Dick Muir has to find a new second row combination as well as appoint a new skipper for this match.
AJ Venter, who has played lock and has captained the Sharks often in the past, would kill two birds with one stone if he was recalled, with the other lock option to partner Steven Sykes being Albert van den Berg. Either way, Muller will be missed as he has been the unsung star of the Sharks pack this season.
Keegan Daniel is also doubtful for the Brumbies match, with the management giving his chances of playing as 50/50. The flanker sustained a knock to the back against the Highlanders, and has also been in a lot of pain this week.
The fitness of Daniel could influence the make-up of the second row, as Venter would be the obvious replacement in the back-row if the openside flank is not there.
Venter would take up the No 7 jersey, with Jacques Botes moving back to No 6, where he played for most of last season.Tweet