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Rugby | Absa Currie Cup

Joubert declared fit for final



Marius Joubert has been declared fit for the Currie Cup rugby final on Saturday, giving the Sharks an unchanged team for the clash against the Lions in Johannesburg.

The midfielder was struggling with a groin problem all week, but has been named by coach John Plumtree at centre alongside Stefan Terblanche.

There is one change on the bench where Alistair Hargreaves comes in to replace Jacques Botes, but the rest of the team is the same one that did duty in the 20-13 win over the Cheetahs last weekend.

Hargreaves has played just five times this season as he struggled to reproduce the form he showcased in Super Rugby following an abdominal muscle injury.

Frederic Michalak, the competition's top scorer with 181 points, was another doubt for the game after hobbling out of the semifinal with a thigh problem.

The Frenchman passed a fitness test on Tuesday.

"When we won the trophy last year, we were lucky enough to have the same team from start to finish over the course of the tournament, we had a cohesive unit," Plumtree said.

"This year we've had a lot of challenges which the Lions haven't had. The challenge for us is that we have to gel as a team right from the first whistle, that's something we've talked about."

Sharks: Patrick Lambie, Odwa Ndungane, Stefan Terblanche, Marius Joubert, JP Pietersen, Frederic Michalak, Conrad Hoffmann, Ryan Kankowski, Willem Alberts, Keegan Daniel (captain) , Ross Skeate, Jean Deysel, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: Craig Burden, Eugene van Staden, Alistair Hargreaves, Marcell Coetzee, Ross Cronje, Adrian Jacobs, Lwazi Mvovo.

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