Pieter-Steph du Toit

Victor MatfieldPieter-Steph du ToitFormer Springbok captain Victor Matfield’s role ahead of this year’s international season has taken on vital importance, especially with the season-ending injury to Cell C Sharks player Pieter-Steph du Toit.

Matfield, who starred in the Vodacom Bulls’ win over the Blues a fortnight ago, will now feature even more prominently in Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer’s plans for the upcoming season, especially with the dearth of five locks around the country at the moment.

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SharksThis is the third in the series of Cell C Sharks Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

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

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South AfricaCombining a fair bit of Springbok news, as speculation flows…

John McFarland, Springbok defensive coach says the Springbok defences were already better last week compared to the previous game against the All Blacks.

Scribes worry and remind Bakkies Botha to keep his dicipline on field and not to succumb to the “Red Mist” od ill-dicipline and the real threat of Yellow or Red Cards.

It also appears that both the formidable frame of young Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock) and that of Patrick Lambie will be in the run-on side for the Springboks on the weekend, with scribes writing up the virtues of Pieter-Steph du Toit almost non-stop, whilst others consider Lambie the perfect fir for the Scotland game.

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South AfricaSiyabonga “Scarra” Ntubeni is one of four uncapped players who will join three stalwarts of the Rugby World Cup winning squad of 2007, JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie and Bakkies Botha, in 32-man Springbok squad for the forthcoming Castle Lager Outgoing Tour to Wales, Scotland and France.

It will be Botha and Fourie’s first involvement with the Springboks since the previous Rugby World Cup, in 2011 in New Zealand, while Pietersen is back in the squad for the first time this year.

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The SharksThe Sharks welcome back Pieter-Steph du Toit to match action where he will line-up for his first start in this year’s Absa Currie Cup campaign for Saturday’s clash with Griquas at GWK Park in Kimberley.

Jean Deysel, who was nursing a few bruises, has been passed fit and will take his place at flank with Jacques Botes retaining the captaincy for this important game.

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ABSA Currie CupSharksThis would a be a year the Sharks would like to forget as they have been plagued with injuries and it seems that their injury woes are not over yet.

It would seem the newest victim is 34 year old lock Marco Wentzel, who suffered a shoulder dislocation. There has been no time frame linked with his recovery.

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SharksIn this Article we look at the contenders for LOCKS at the Sharks 2013 Super Rugby group.

At Lock the Sharks have had their fair share of worries this past year, none more so than the semi-final and final of the Currie Cup 2012.

Anton Bresler and Jandre Marais along with Steven Sykes were the frontline jumpers but there always seemed to be something missing, and although the Sharks made both the Super Rugby and Currie Cup Finals, one glaring aspect of their play that at times was very troublesome was the poor line-outs.

This was due, one can assume, to various issues such as injuries to key players at critical stages of the season as well as just poor play.

The season of 2013 will see the Sharks with the same young locks accept for two changes – Steven Sykes has signed for the Kings and is returning to his family farm (Steven was a great servant to Natal rugby and will no doubt be sorely missed) and on loan to the Sharks for the Super Rugby season 2013 is Franco van der Merwe, who no doubt with his experience can help fill that void and add some much needed experience.

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