The Sharks could be without Springbok centre Adrian Jacobs for Saturday’s Super 14 clash against the Highlanders.
Jacobs injured his shoulder against the Crusaders 10 days ago and will go for a scan on Monday.
Surprisingly, his place was not taken by Springbok Waylon Murray at Sunday’s training session, but by Andries Strauss.
Louis De Villiers of Sport 24 reports that Strauss is usually an inside centre, but Frans Steyn will wear the No 12 jersey again after a fit Ruan Pienaar came through training at flyhalf.
The Highlanders don’t appear to be tough opponents – their defeat to the Stormers effectively ended their Super 14 campaign – but have the ability to pull off a shock result.
Only the Waratahs and Blues have been able to score big wins over the Highlanders this year, while they earned bonus points against the Hurricanes and Chiefs. The Bulls and Crusaders have lost to them.
Even so, it offers the Sharks a good opportunity of getting their Super 14 campaign back on track after their two defeats prior to the weekend’s bye.
With the Waratahs and Bulls next up, a defeat to the Highlanders can scupper any hopes the Sharks have of a home semi-final.
Former Sharks coach Ian McIntosh said on Monday that he saw similar traits in the current side to the one that achieved so much glory under his mentorship in the 1990s.
“They let it slip a bit in those last two games, but it’s understandable and I have little doubt they’ll be back on track very soon,” said McIntosh.
“I see the core of an outstanding and very competitive side. I am confident they will go from strength to strength for a few years still.”Tweet