The Sharks, as we know, need to throw everything they have into achieving a bonus-point win against the Bulls at Kings Park on Friday night. Coach John Plumtree should have a pretty strong squad to select from.
There has been absolutely no news out of Durban over the last week, though, as to who is in the frame for selection. We know that the Bok contingent sat out training last week, so will presumably only be assessed this morning. Of those players, it’s Pat Lambie and Willem Alberts about whom their is currently some doubt. Lambie hurt an ankle in the second test win over England, whilst Alberts strained knee ligaments and it’s not completely ridiculous to say that the Sharks probably won’t pull off the result they need without both of these key players fit to take the field; a case of “wait and see”, I guess.
We’re expecting Francois Steyn to come into the picture, since his new Sharks contract officially started yesterday; what’s more, Fred Michalak has returned to Durban to play in the last few matches as well, despite currently being under contract to Toulon (according to our information). Another key player who is under an injury cloud, though, is Paul Jordaan, having sustained what looked like a serious hamstring injury during the Junior Springboks’ JWC quarter-final win over Argentina. With Steyn back in the picture – and Jordaan assumed out – it’s quite likely that the Sharks will line up with a Steyn-Whitehead combination in midfield, but again, that’s just speculation at this point.
Neither Steven Sykes not Jacques Botes played against Barney’s Army – we’re told that each had a minor injury – so it also remains to be seen whether either is fit to face the Bulls this weekend. Conrad Hoffmann was another who missed out against John Smit’s team, but with both Charl McLeod and Michalak fit, it’s unlikely that he would feature in the match 22 this week anyway.
As always, the Sharks’ key selection decisions will be at loose forward, flyhalf, centre and fullback, with the rest of the team pretty much selecting itself.Tweet