According to an interview with Grant Bashford on the Sharks website, both Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis could come back into the Currie Cup selection frame as early as this weekend.
Adding to the selection conundrum caused by the release of Beast Mtawarira, Ryan Kankowski and Ruan Pienaar from the Boks squad, the return to fitness of Jean Deysel, as well as the possible availability of the Bok hooker and tighthead prop could see the Sharks suddenly able to field a virtual Super 14-strength side against the Cheetahs – a team they will be very keen to beat in this year’s Currie Cup.
But therein lies John Plumtree’s biggest challenge. The impressive deputies – Pat Cilliers, Craig Burden, Wiehahn Herbst, Keegan Daniel and the like – have played a huge role in ensuring that the Sharks occupy second position on the log. Will including a host of Bok stars, most of whom are likely to be whisked away again as soon as the Boks’ home Tri-Nations squad is named, not risk completely destroying any continuity and spirit in the side? That was exactly what happened last year, ironically ahead of the semi-final against exactly the same opposition. If there’s on thing the Cheetahs love, it’s taking to pieces a Sharks side full of big name (and big headed) superstars. Perhaps the trip to Bloemfontein is one better entrusted to the keen youngsters after all.
How do you resist the temptation to field an all-Bok front-row, though? Or a loose trio that compress the irrepressible Alberts, Deysel and Kankowski, in whatever combination seems best? These are the questions that John Plumtree will answer when he names his side tomorrow. Let’s just hope that we don’t end up regretting any short-term decisions made in the interests of winning one match.Tweet