The bad news is that Johann Muller’s broken finger will definitely rule him out of this weekend’s game against the Hurricanes. The worse news is that no fewer than 9 other squad members were forced to sit out training on Monday owing to a variety of bumps and bruises.Coach John Plumtree has intimated that Alistair Hargreaves will come into the starting lineup for Muller, but there are further injury concerns in the pack as well. Jannie du Plessis is nursing a tender hamstring, while the “twins”, Keegan Daniel and Jean Deysel are also both in doubt, the former’s shoulder injury likely to keep him out of action this weekend, while the latter’s leg injury is expected to clear up in time.
Andy Goode is the worst of the backs – he also has a hamstring strain – but the Sharks medics will have a lot of work to do between now and Saturday to ensure that something resembling a fit 22 is able to face the Hurricanes.
One player who is sure to be included is Beast Mtawarira, who is now over the flu that caused him to miss out against the Highlanders. John Smit’s superb showing in the unfamiliar number 1 jersey will give the coaching staff some interesting food for thought, though, when deciding whether the affable Zimbabwean should come straight back into the starting lineup.
Possible Sharks lineup:
15 Lambie, 14 Terblanche, 13 Jacobs, 12 Swanepoel, 11 Pietersen, 10 Pienaar, 9 Kockott, 8 Kankowski, 7 Alberts, 6 Botes, 5 Hargreaves, 4 Sykes, 3 J du Plessis, 2 B du Plessis, 1 Smit (capt)
16 Burden, 17 Mtawarira, 18 Steenkamp, 19 Deysel, 20 Goode, 21 Murray, 22 MvovoTweet