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The Sharks might be without two of their most bruising forwards, back row stars Willem Alberts and Jean Deysel, when their Super Rugby season gets underway next month.

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They open their campaign when they travel to Pretoria on February 24 to take on the three-time champion Bulls.

Having turned down an invitation to join the Stormers and the Lions in the traditional pre-season tournament at Newlands at the end of the month, the Sharks will play the First Division champions, the Boland Cavaliers, and beaten finalists, the Eastern Province Kings, over two weekends in early February.

The two injured stars, Alberts and Deysel, will not feature in any of the pre-season matches and are in a race against time to be fit for the season opener against the Bulls.

Coach John Plumtree said his team’s build-up so far has been the same as every pre-season.

“You get your players in different aspects of training and those who are in rehab,” Plumtree said.

“We have Willem Alberts and Jean Deysel that are under pressure to be fit for the start of the season, but they’re on track.

“The players have all had their programmes over Christmas and have worked pretty hard, so I’m happy with that.”

Aside from Alberts and Deysel, scrumhalf Conrad Hoffmann has injured a pectoral muscle in the gym and Plumtree has confirmed that he could be out for four weeks.

“Hopefully, he will be ok by the start of the season,” the coach added.

Other players who missed the final weeks of the Currie Cup, centre Meyer Bosman and utility back Louis Ludik, are both back at training.

The Sharks coach is confident that the team has enough depth to cope with the injuries.

“If you look at our forwards, there is a lot of experience there now and some of these guys have been playing Super Rugby for five or six years,” he said, adding: “In the backs, there is a mixture of experience and youth.

“We’ll see an introduction of young players as well during the campaign which is positive going forward.

“I think we’re in good shape but it’s a long competition isn’t it? If you lose two or three guys to injury, especially if it’s in the same position, then suddenly you can come under pressure.

“But the Under-21s did well last year and our Vodacom Cup side is full of promising youngsters as well so we’ll also able to draw from them.”

7 Responses to Sharks injury concerns in the engine room

  • 1

    Our Sharkie friends are’nt going to be happy!

    Bulls play the Sharks first up, 24 Feb… I’m OK with it… hehehe

  • 2

    @ grootblousmile:
    Not to worry….The Sharks academy churns them out, esp loose forwards and against a depleted Bulls side it is less of a challenge than meets the eye.

  • 3

    2 @ 4man:
    My guess is the Sharks Academy can’t churn out 2 of this calibre within a month and 11 days…

  • 4

    @ grootblousmile:
    Only time will tell, but I’ll have 6 beers on this game.

  • 5

    4 @ 4man:
    Flokkit, I’m a few beers behind as it is, but what the hell, let’s go for it… six beers it is.

    (Not that I’m without worries about the Bulls… and neither should you be with what the Sharks have in the locks and midfield departments)

  • 6

    @ grootblousmile:
    Ja interesting times. I want to see what happens in the 4 nations with our pack. Undefined front row, undefined locking dept….lineouts a particular concern….backrow is fine, but having said that…Juan must now take a back seat. We must start building for the next world cup as this is the nadir of rugby now. Use the tri nations and end of year tours to test up and coming players (by up and coming I mean blokes that are not out of place in a Bok side) to ensure we have the best possible team in 2 to 3 years time for the following 3 to 4 years. We clearly let our team become top heavy with “experience” the last time around. I am concerned about our centres too. If Frans Steyn comes back full time then I will be less concerned.

  • 7

    6 @ 4man:
    I hear you about the experience thing.

    You guys, specially the Sharkies supporters, backed John Smit one season too long. Should have been Bismarck all the way at hooker.

    Then some okes backed Snorrie to the end, for some insane reason as well, whilst it was clear things were slowly going to pot with him at the helm.

    I do not agree with the stance to build for 4 years, I’d like to see a coach appointed for less than 4 years, having to deliver EVERY Test, as if it were the World Cup Final every time. I want the Springbok winning percentages to rise and rise and eventually eclipse that of the All Blacks, a Springbok loss to be a crushing blow every time it happens.

    Fransie Steyn needs to come back to SA, and then make the No 12 position his without a shadow of a doubt.

    I also think Fourie du Preez was a season beyond his sell-by date.
    For Bakkies there was’nt really an able replacement… but maybe he was used a season too long as well.


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