No Change for table topping Sharks (team sheet)

Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White has retained the starting line up that beat the Reds on Saturday for this week’s Super TeamsheetsRugby match against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.

White made just two changes to the team that defeated the Reds last week, both on the bench and JP Pietersen will make his 100th game for the franchise having made his debut in 2006.

JP Pietersen He has scored 33 tries in Super Rugby and 17 in 42 Currie Cup games and boasts a Rugby World Cup winners medal from 2007 and has been capped 51 times at Test level.

“It is a big achievement for a guy that plays 100 times for his franchise,” said White on the Sharks site

“I have no doubt that it ‘s not only what he brings on the field, but also what he brings to the rest of the group off the field. I ‘m sure it will be a special occasion for him. I have no doubt JP, being as popular a player as he is to this group, a lot of the players will want to do well for him as well.”

Heimar Williams drops to Vodacom Cup for game time and Tim Swiel has been named as his replacement.

Andre Esterhuizen replaces Jaco van Tonder, and whichever player does come on will feature in his first match at Super Rugby level for his debut.

Sharks

15. SP Marais , 14. JP Pietersen , 13. S ‘bura Sithole , 12. Frans Steyn , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 10. Patrick Lambie , 9. Cobus Reinach , 8. Ryan Kankowski , 7. Willem Alberts , 6. Mar oetzee , 5. Stephan Lewies , 4. Anton Bresler , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Bismarck du Plessis (Captain) , 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16. Kyle Cooper , 17. Dale Chadwick , 18. Lourens Adriaanse , 19. Etienne Oosthuizen , 20. Tera Mtembu , 21. Charl McLeod , 22. Tim Swiel , 23. Andre Esterhuizen

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JP out as Butch and Bismark return for Sharks

Bok winger (playing at center for the Shark this past weekend), JP Pieterson has been ruled out for the remainder of the Super Rugby season through injury. The World Cup winner has had to undergo groin surgery, creating a massive dilemma at center for the Durban-based franchise.Rugby Injury

The Sharks have lost Tim Whitehead and Paul Jordaan to long-term injuries and, with the possibility of Meyer Bosman being unavailable after braking his nose against the Force, the Sharks could find themselves having to pick players who are yet to play a Currie Cup match.

Even veteran Marius Joubert, who has been out of favour since returning from Europe, is out because of a broken hand, leaving young wing Piet Lindeque, and the relatively unknown Tyler Fisher and Heimar Williams as the only real no. 13 options.

The only ray of  sunshine this weekend is that experienced Internationals Butch James and Bismark du Plessis are likely to return, meaning that if Bosman is fit, he could move to 13 and accommodate James at 12. Du Plessis should start from the bench, a great boost to Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, as the South African hookers have largely failed to blow anyone away with their performances this year.

The Sharks have had a dismal season so far and this has largely been due to a horrific run of injuries, and the players and coaches will welcome the news of the impending decision to have a global season, as well as a massive increase in the amount of off-season they enjoy.

SGR

Four changes for Sharks vs Force (team sheet)

Sharks coach John Plumtree has made four changes to his side that lost to the Reds in Brisbane last week.

–          Jannie du Plessis starts inplace of Wiehahn Herbst at tighthead prop.Teamsheets

–          Pieter-Steph du Toit drops to the bench.

–          Anton Bresler starts at lock.

–          Willem Alberst wins his first start of the campaign.

–          Jean Deysel drops to the bench.

–          Odwa Ndungane replaces Piet Lindeque on the wing.

“They beat the Crusaders, they lost by one point to the Chiefs, the 2012 champs, and with those results, they have some belief, it’s going to be a tough game, They’re a side that’s clearly working very hard for each other and we know it is going to be a really tough task from our side”. said Plumtree.

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Sharks

15. Riaan Viljoen , 14. Odwa Ndungane , 13. JP Pietersen , 12. Meyer Bosman , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 10. Patrick Lambie , 9. Charl McLeod , 8. Keegan Daniel (C) , 7. Willem Alberts , 6. Marcell Coetzee , 5. Franco van der Merwe , 4. Anton Bresler , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Kyle Cooper , 1. JC Janse van Rensburg

Replacements: 16. Monde Hadebe , 17. Wiehahn Herbst , 18. Pieter-Steph du Toit , 19. Derick Minnie / Lubabalo Mtembu , 20. Jean Deysel , 21. Tian Meyer , 22. Piet Lindeque

Yet more injuries for the Sharks as Burden is sent home

The Sharks hooker Craig Burden has been sent home from Australia after pinching a nerve during the loss to the Rugby InjuryHighlanders last weekend.

Burden is replaced by Monde Hadebe, the teams Vodacom Cup hooker as Springbok Bismarck du Plessis is still in rehab and in the process of regaining fitness.

Hadebe will back up Kyle Cooper who has had an impressive season so far.

Good news for the Sharks is the return of Springbok Willem Alberts who has played two games for the Sharks Vodacom Cup side and has now joined up with the Sharks in Brisbane.

Lubablo Mtembu stays with the squad despite picking up some bruising during last weekend’s match  and will be accessed over the week and a final decision will be made on Thursday.

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Sharks drop captain as they regroup after injuries

Sharks coach John Plumtree has been forced into a number of changes as the head to Hamilton to take on reigning champions the Chiefs.Teamsheets

–          Tendai Mtawarira is replaced by Wiehahn Herbst in the front row.

–          Craig Burden replaces Kyle Cooper.

–          Pieter-Steph du Tout shifts back to lock.

–          Derrick Minnie starts at openside flank.

–          Regular captain Keegan Daniels is dropped to the bench.

–          Jean Deysel captains the side.

–          Lubabalo Mtembu gets his first start in Super Rugby at no.8.

–          Charl McLeod starts at no.9 with Cobus Reinach dropping to the bench.

–          Piet Lindeque starts on the wing.

–          Frans Steyn replaces the injured Paul Jordaan in the centres.

The Sharks travel to Hamilton to take on the Chiefs, KO 10:35 NZ (09:35 CAT, 08:35 BST)

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Sharks

15. Riaan Viljoen , 14. Odwa Ndungane , 13. Francois Steyn , 12. Meyer Bosman , 11. Piet Lindeque , 10. Patrick Lambie , 9. Charl McLeod , 8. Lubabalo Mtembu , 7. Jean Deysel (C) , 6. Derick Minnie , 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit , 4. Anton Bresler , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Craig Burden , 1. Wiehahn Herbst

Replacements , 16. Kyle Cooper , 17. Danie Mienie , 18. Franco van der Merwe , 19. Keegan Daniel , 20. Marcell Coetzee , 21. Cobus Reinach , 22. S’bura Sithole

Sharks lose Jordaan for season

Sharks centre Paul Jordaan has been ruled out of the rest of the Super Rugby season after injuring his knee in Rugby Injurytraining.

Jordaan will leave the Sharks camp, currently in Manly Australia later this week to undergo surgery.

“We’re very disappointed to lose Paul Jordaan, he’s out for the rest of the season, Paul suffered an ACL (knee ligament) injury (6-9 months out). He was playing touch rugby, we were just having a light run, jogging out the jetlag and he stepped, was caught and his knee collapsed.  It’s a big blow for us, we’re all disappointed for Paul and for the team.  It’s the last thing you want, the side is already depleted and to lose a guy in your first training session is pretty depressing, but there’s not much we can do.” Said coach John Plumtree.

“Hopefully we’ll get Lwazi back and there’s a possibility of bringing JP back into the midfield, we’ll make those decisions once we know the status with Lwazi.  We might be forced to play JP in the midfield, it’s not his primary position obviously, but he did a good job for us last year with his x-factor.”  Added Plumtree.

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Sharks call on French bound Lion

The Sharks have called up on loan prop JC Janse van Rensburg ahead of their tour of Australasia as back up after Rugby Injuryinjuries have left their front row decimated.

Van Rensburg will be moving to Bayonne at the end of the season and will join the Sharks this week.

The big prop is yet to win a Springbok cap but is determined to use this opportunity to prove he can play at the highest level.

“I will never give up that dream, I got a small taste of it [to be a Bok] at the end of the year and I am working hard to get it – I want to pull that jersey over my head and say I’m a real Springbok. I don’t enjoy being called a Springbok and I am not really one. The blazer still hangs over the arm, I am not allowed to wear it – I really want to put it over my shoulders, so hopefully this is my opportunity.” Said Van Rensburg.

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