Reading between the lines, it seem the decision about which Springboks to play in this weekend’s Currie Cup will be entirely at the discretion of each Union’s coaching teams. Presumably, they will consult with the players in question to determine which, if any, need an extra week or two’s rest.
Indications coming from the Sharks camp are that Beast Mtawarira, Adi Jacobs and Bismarck du Plessis are unlikely to see action against the Bulls this weekend, with the longer-term goal of their continued availability towards the business end of the competition taking precedence over short-term needs. Certainly, the Sharks are not short of options in midfield or in the front row, so there should not be a noticeable weakening of the side as a result. Even Skipper Badenhorst has really raised him game in recent weeks and always seems to keep a little something extra for games against his former schoolmates, although it would be very good to have a player of Bismarck’s calibre available.
Wing JP Pietersen is still not available, having injured his hamstring against Australia two weeks, while number 8 Ryan Kankowski is still not 100% after injuring his collar bone against the Lions. The latter is rated as a 50-50 prospect for the Bulls match.
Early indications are that Jannie du Plessis and Johann Muller will slot straight back into the tight five, with the same loose-forward mix as the one that has been playing so well of late. Ruan Pienaar is likely to take over from Charl McLeod at at scrumhalf, with Frans Steyn slotting in at outside centre in place of Riaan Swanepoel. Odwa Ndungane will occupy his regular number 14 jersey, with either Chris Jordaan or Waylon Murray making way.
Possible Sharks team:
15 Terblanche, 14 Ndungane, 13 Steyn, 12 Barritt, 11 Murray/Jordaan, 10 Michalak, 9 Pienaar, 8 Daniel/Kankowski, 7 Deysel, 6 Botes, 5 Muller (capt), 4 van den Berg, 3 du Plessis, 2 Badenhorst, 1 CarstensTweet