In something of a blow to the Sharks’ chances, centre Tim Whitehead has apparently all but been ruled out of this weekend’s game against the Lions, due to the same groin injury that ruled him out of last weekend’s crunch clash with the Stormers.
It was hoped that the former WP man – who has impressed since joining the Sharks this year – would be able to join Meyer Bosman in midfield for the Joburg match, given that incumbent 13 Paul Jordaan is with the Baby Boks in Stellenbosch this week. Coach John Plumtree, like Stormers counterpart Alister Coetzee, appears to engaged in a battle of wills to get his man back from that squad to be able to play at the weekend, insisting that Super Rugby could take precedence over national age group commitments, despite the national body’s protestations to the contrary.
With no Jordaan and no Whitehead, the Sharks suddenly look frightfully thin at centre, assuming of course that the last-resort option of playing Marius Joubert is to be avoided at all costs. A return to the number 13 jersey for JP Pietersen looks possible in that scenario, while Beeld’s Christo Buchner even goes as far as suggesting that Frans Steyn could be drawn into the match 22 ahead of his official July 1 contract start date should SARU dig their heels in when it comes to Jordaan.
Whatever the case, it looks like a disrupted midfield once again for the Sharks when they travel to Joburg, which is unfortunate given that one last big push is needed from these players ahead of the Test window.Tweet