Jannie du Plessis

Jannie du Plessis

Springbok prop, Jannie du Plessis

After the mauling the Springbok scrum received at the hands of the Pumas in two consecutive tests there have been calls from armchair critics for coach Heyneke Meyer to make changes, but in the naming of his 30-man squad for the Australasian leg of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship came confirmation that his hands are tied.

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Jannie du Plessis & Tendai Mtawarira

Jannie du Plessis & Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira

The Springboks missed an ideal opportunity to put the pressure on New Zealand and Australia after the latter two sides drew 12-all in the first game of this year’s Rugby Championship at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney on Saturday.

To say the unseasonal Loftus monsoon made constructive rugby extremely difficult is an understatement, but one would like to believe that the Boks should have played the situation much better than Saturday’s 13-6 victory in their opener against Argentina in Pretoria.

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Jean Deysel

Jean Deysel

The Cell C Sharks will field a team resting Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis and Willem Alberts (all on the bench)… and also still without Patrick Lambie, but with Jean Deysel captaining the side and Frans Steyn back in his favoured position of Inside Centre.

This of course means that Tim Swiel starts at Flyhalf, Dale Chadwick at loosehead prop, Kyle Cooper as starting hooker and Lourens Adriaanse as starting tighthead prop.

S’Bura Sithole is back at Outside centre and JP Pietersen moves back to Right wing, with SP Marais protecting the last vestage.

3 Other returning Springboks get starting positions, namely Marcell Coetzee, Stephan Lewies and Lwazi Mvovo.

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Jake White

Jake White

Cell C SharksJake White has hinted at a bold strategy to rest his returning Springboks with the Sharks having sewn up the South African conference and guaranteed some play-off rugby already.

The Sharks have an unassailable hold on the South African Conference and cannot finish the tournament any lower than third.

However, the plan is to finish in the top two and earn a direct route to a home semifinal without having to play a qualifying knock-out match.

White has indicated that if they are to really be competitive when it matters, it may require some tactical selection policies.

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Jannie du PlessisTendai MtawariraCell C SharksShould they both play on Saturday against the Crusaders, Jannie du Plessis and Tendai Mtawarira will both reach 100 Super Rugby caps for the Sharks.

With hooker Bismarck du Plessis having already achieved the feat, the Sharks front row is one of the most experienced of all time in the competition.

For Jannie du Plessis, it is a dream come true, having grown up supporting the Sharks.

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Bismarck du PlessisJannie du PlessisCell C SharksThey are strong, generally popular characters of the international rugby landscape and that is never a bad thing … but do brothers Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis take interaction with referees a bit too far?

The voices of the two Sharks front-rankers have been among the most consistently audible to mass audiences this season as far as spirited dialogue with Super Rugby officials is concerned.

Shrinks (and may I cheekily add, at the risk of generalisation, wives and girlfriends?) will tell you that communication is healthy.

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SharksIn the first week of discussion of Super Rugby squad contenders for 2014 (23 to 29 December), we will discuss 2 positions in seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) and also seperate the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.

That means 10 Super Rugby Articles every week from now on.

The basic idea is to discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS in the Cell C Sharks 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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South AfricaJannie du PlessisLourens AdriaanseExperienced Springbok tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis has been ruled out of the forthcoming Castle Lager Outgoing Tour to Wales, Scotland and France because of injury.

His place in the touring team will be taken by the uncapped GWK Griquas prop Lourens Adriaanse, a member of the Springbok squad during the Castle Lager Rugby Championship who was on the official standby list and will play with Du Plessis for The Sharks next season.

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The 1st and Article in the set discussing the Sharks Super Rugby players for 2012.

In this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS in the Sharks 2012 Super Rugby group, and what their worth will be in Super Rugby terms.

The Sharks have high aspirations for 2012 and it appears they have the squad and depth to match those aspirations.

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