Despite conceding that Bismarck du Plessis has, quote-unquote, “a number of minor issues with his body”, John Plumtree looks set to make a late call on whether to start the Bok hooker against the Chiefs on Saturday.
Craig Burden did superbly in his last two outings, scoring a try on each occasion and generally contributing all over the park; Bismarck is a special player and a talisman in the pack, on his day the best in the world in his position and you can understand Plumtree wanting to give his vice captain every chance of being fit for this key game.
A further revelation is that Bismarck routinely plays through injuries – not something that seems particularly wise or prudent to me, but to each his own, I guess. If the Bismarck that we see swatting aside opponents with glee and impunity is the injured version, it’s quite scary to think what he could do when fully fit! I guess another consequence here is that Bismarck’s version of a “fitness test” is probably somewhat less strenuous than what other players would need to go through to prove match readiness. I reckon as long as he manages to blink at least one eyelid they’ll let him take the field!
There’s still a huge amount of uncertainty regarding the composition of the side for Saturday, particularly amongst the forwards. We’re not sure if Pieter-Steph du Toit will play a role, or whether Marcell Coetzee will be fit to start; in case the latter is ruled out, it’s probably a safe bet that either Keegan Daniel or Jacques Botes will be at 6, with the latter possibly a more likely candidate given the captain’s good form at number 8. The baffling presence of a fit-looking Beast Mtawarira at training – this despite officially being around a month from his “official” return date – is perhaps also cause for an eyebrow raise or two.
The backs should be reasonably unchanged, with the inclusion of Meyer Bosman for the battle-weary Tim Whitehead at inside centre the only anticipated switch. The Sharks will name their side tomorrow.Tweet