The Sharks suffered a major injury scare after the Kings match, but have received some very good news ahead of their match against the Brumbies at Kings Park on Saturday, allowing them to name a strong team.
“Jacques Botes was initially diagnosed with a cracked wrist, but on later examination we discovered that he has had it for a long time, that it was a previous injury, it just shows that the older you get, the tougher you get,” said Sharks coach John Plumtree after Wednesday’s training. “It’s not a new injury but he’s alright and that’s good news for the team.”
Botes will play off the bench while Keegan Daniel returns to the side, having been out of action since the first warm-up match against the Leopards in Pietermaritzburg on 8 February. His return comes at the perfect time and he will take over the captaincy again.
Plumtree has made two changes in the backline, two very experienced players getting their first starts in this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby campaign.
“Charl McLeod hasn’t had an opportunity, he’s been really looking forward to having one and I think it’s a good time to re-introduce him. He’ll be looking forward to a good game.
“It’s the same with Odwa Ndungane, he hadn’t started a game yet so we wanted to give him an opportunity at some point, it’s a big game this week.”
Although this is the first time The Sharks show any changes in three weeks, the team looks very settled and balanced.
“We’ve had some enforced changes and a couple of rotational changes amongst the backs, we have a good squad and both those backs deserve a start, it’s up to them to take the opportunity,” the coached concluded.
The Sharks: Louis Ludik, Odwa Ndungane, Paul Jordaan, Frans Steyn, JP Pietersen, Pat Lambie, Charl McLeod, Ryan Kankowski, Keegan Daniel (captain), Marcell Coetzee, Franco van der Merwe, Anton Bresler, Jannie du Plessis, Craig Burden, Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: Kyle Cooper, Wiehahn Herbst, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jacques Botes, Cobus Reinach, Meyer Bosman, Lwazi Mvovo. - www.sharksrugby.co.za