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Sibusiso Sithole

Cell C SharksAfter a dismal Super Rugby season the Cell C Sharks have gone through a major revamp allowing a new crop of players to step up.

With the exodus of a number of the Sharks’ Springbok players to overseas contracts, and many of their big-name players plying their trade at The Rugby Championship and Rugby World Cup for the Springboks, a next generation of Sharks players both young and new need to man-up to the big stage.

Sibusiso ‘S’bura’ Sithole is 1 of those players that will be a key element to their success and he acknowledges that although not a senior player, he does bring a wealth of experience and knows that he has a big role to play.

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S'bura Sithole

S’bura Sithole

Centre S’bura Sithole believes the Sharks must start improving on their basics if they want to bounce back from their first Currie Cup loss of the season over the weekend.

The defending champions suffered a shock 32-22 loss against the Pumas in Nelspruit to drop behind the Mpumalanga side from second to fourth on the Premier Division table after four rounds of the competition.

“I think it’s just our basics and fundamentals that are letting us down,” Sithole said on Tuesday.

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Sibusiso "S'Bura" Sithole

Sibusiso “S’Bura” Sithole

The Cell C Sharks look likely to be without outside centre S’bura Sithole when they play their return ABSA Currie Cup match against the Steval Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday night.

Sithole has been battling a rib injury and is in doubt for the match. Heimar Williams will replace him if he is not cleared to play. Otherwise the rest of the Sharks players are fit, with there being a possibility that key lineout forward Stephan Lewies will be added to the mix for a starting place this week.

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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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Francois Steyn

Francois Steyn

South AfricaCell C Sharks backline star Frans Steyn is unlikely to feature for the Springboks in the June Internationals.

Steyn was one of 10 players who took no or little part in the field sessions at the Springbok training camp in Durban, which concluded on Wednesday.

Steyn has been suffering from a chronic knee dysfunction which has been managed by Sharks and upon a request from his franchise, the load on his knee was limited by keeping him out of training.

While the severity of the injury will only be confirmed later in the week, Steyn is expected to miss the June internationals. It is also possible that Steyn could miss the latter stages of Super Rugby, which would be a body blow to the Sharks.

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Victor MatfieldSchalk BurgerCornal HendricksSibusiso SitholeLodewyk De JagerTeboho MahojeHeinrich BrussowSouth AfricaWorld champion Springboks Victor Matfield and Schalk Burger as well as two former Blitzbok stars, Cornal Hendricks and S’bura Sithole, are included in a 36-man squad to attend a national training camp in Durban from 25 to 28 May, the South African Rugby Union announced on Monday.

Cell C Sharks back Sithole and Hendricks, the SA Sevens Player of the Year in 2013, are two of eight uncapped players in the squad. The others are the Toyota Cheetahs duo of Lood de Jager (lock) and Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje (loose forward); Marcel van der Merwe (prop) and Jacques du Plessis (flank/lock) of the Vodacom Bulls; Marnitz Boshoff (flyhalf) of the Lions and the DHL Stormers’ Damian De Allende (centre/wing).

They will join Matfield, Burger and Toyota Cheetahs flanker Heinrich Brüssow – who are back in the national set up for the first time since the last Rugby World Cup in 2011 – in a training squad that is missing a number of players due to injury.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said he was happy with the form of a number of the country’s top players and the uncapped players who have grabbed their chance this season, as well as the re-appearance from retirement and long-term injury of Matfield and Burger.

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Cell C SharksPaul JordaanSibusiso SitholeJP PietersenDirector of Rugby Jake White has been forced to make changes to the Cell C Sharks backline, but welcomes back two players from injury for Friday night’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash with the Highlanders.

This is their final home game ahead of their four match tour to Australia and New Zealand and along with the desire to maintain their 100% success record at home is hopping on the plane on Saturday in a positive frame of mind, something victory on Friday night would ensure.

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SharksIn this Article we look at the contenders for WINGS AND FULLBACKS at the Sharks 2013 Super Rugby group.

The Sharks will have a very solid backline in 2013 with all positions having sufficient depth and with the Back Three the same can be said. In JP Pietersen, Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndugane and Sibusiso Sithole they have four good wings with the likes of Paul Jordaan, Louis Ludik and Gouws Prinsloo who can all also cover the position if need be.

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A simulated rugby field at Loftus Versfeld was filled to capacity with bags of clothing and bedding collected by Clothing4Children from Pretoria Schools. Vodacom Blue Bulls, DHL Western Province and Sharks players in the under 19, under 21 and senior teams, fans, sponsors and suite owners in the Pretoria region also collected for the Clothing4Children Campaign. Prior to Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup clash between the Vodacom Blue Bulls and DHL Western Province, all the players walked on to the field with their bags to show their support for the inspiring campaign, started by Burger brothers Schalk and Wim.

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