Flyhalf Brad Barritt’s ill-fated few weeks got even worse when he suffered a groin strain late in training on Thursday that will almost certainly rule him out of the Sharks’ third round Currie Cup clash against the Bulls on Saturday.
Craig Lewis writes for IOL.
Prior to the Sharks’ opening match against Western Province, Barritt fought off flu as well as a back and quad injury to play the crucial match, but was unable to take to the field this past weekend against Boland.
This week, Barritt has been in a race against time to be fit for Saturday’s encounter and all indications were that he would have been fit to play until the fickle finger of fate struck him down once again.
Coach John Plumtree said it was an extremely bitter pill to swallow, but said they were not ruling him out just yet.
“It’s really unfortunate, he sustained the injury right at the end of training. It’s very disappointing, but we will leave it late before we rule him out completely, though it is doubtful he will play.”
The possibility of his withdrawal has thrown a spanner in the works in terms of selection and is possibly part of the reason an official Sharks team was not released as expected on Thursday.
If Barritt is unable to fulfil the flyhalf berth, Plumtree said they would probably start with Monty Dumond at 10 and bring 23-year-old Andrew Borgen on to the bench as cover at flyhalf.
Plumtree also confirmed that lock-cum-flank Steven Sykes and scrumhalf Rory Kockott had been ruled out of the match after failing to recover from a knee and ankle injury respectively.
Plumtree said Nick Strauss, who recently returned from a four-year stint with the Bedford Blues in the UK, would fill Sykes’s position on the flank and that Scott Mathie would replace Kockott.
Another new face in the probable starting XV will be that of another Rovers boy, Chris Jordaan, who should slot on to the wing in place of Lwazi Mvovo who started the last match.
Despite the injuries and consequent team re-shuffling, Plumtree emphasised that he was still confident they could give the Bulls “a run for their money”.Tweet