Well, it was nice to have them while it lasted but the time has come for the Bok contingent of the Sharks to move on to national duty which means the Sharks will have to fill the gaps which have appeared.
The front row is the first area which needs to filled, with Pat Cilliers at loosehead and Wiehan Herbst the automatic choices to fill in for Beast Mtawarira and Jannie du Plessis respectively. While Kyle Cooper would come back from the under 21s to take his place on the bench in place of Bismarck du Plessis.
The Sharks do not have a problem with loose forward depth, although the injury to Jean Deysel does mean an important player is missing, but the number 8 position vacated by Ryan Kankowski will in all likelihood be filled by Willem Alberts who performed mightily against his old team on the weekend.
It is the absence of winger JP Pietersen which could lead to the most interesting selection issues. His place could be filled by Lionel Mapoe if he wins his court case and when he recovers from his shoulder injury. However, if he is not ready to play by the time JP joins up with the Boks (I’m honestly not sure when Odwa will be back either) a backline shuffle could be on the cards. Stefan Terblanche could move out of the unfamiliar centre position to wing or fullback which would leave a place for Piet Lindeque or Arno van Zyl in the 13 jersey. Plum has seemed to throw off the conservative shackles a bit in this Currie cup and the selection of a young centre could happen. It might also be all the more important to select a specialist centre against the Leopards this weekend as Walter Venter has made an enormous difference to the Potch men’s midfield and he may well catch Stef out in a position he is only filling in at.
Whatever happens it will be interesting to see Plum’s midfield and back three selections over the coming weeks.Tweet