Dixon straight into action for Sharks
Sharks coach John Plumtree hasn’t wasted any time in calling new recruit Pieter Dixon into action after his switch from England club rugby to Currie Cup.
Dixon, a former Western Province player who was schooled at Maritzburg College but has spent most of his career in England, has been named on the bench for the important clash with the Free State Cheetahs at Mr Price Kings Park on Saturday.
Monde Hadebe continues in the No2 jersey he has donned since the injury to Bismarck du Plessis saw Craig Burden called up to Springbok duty.
Talking of Springbok duty, the decision by national coach Heyneke Meyer not to use him in the next phase of The Rugby Championship has enabled the Sharks to call on regular skipper Keegan Daniel, who comes in for Francois Kleinhans.
However Daniel, who captained the side in both Super Rugby this year and last season’s Currie Cup, will not assume the leadership reins this week. The captaincy responsibilities remain entrusted to Jean Deysel.
The only other change to the starting XV sees centre Marius Joubert making way for Meyer Bosman, who is back from injury.
There hasn’t been any sign of panic from Plumtree after the surprisingly easy defeat to the Blue Bulls in Pretoria last week, with most of the combinations continuing.
“Both sides have suffered player losses, through injury and Springbok call-ups, but we know what the Currie Cup is all about," Plumtree said.
"It's a test of depth and it should be a really good game. I don't think there is a lot between the two teams. It will come down to the side that wants it more on the weekend.”
THE SHARKS: Louis Ludik, Odwa Ndungane, Paul Jordaan, Meyer Bosman, S’bura Sithole, Riaan Viljoen, Charl McLeod, Keegan Daniel, Jean Deysel (captain), Jacques Botes, Anton Bresler, Steven Sykes, Wiehahn Herbst, Monde Hadebe, Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: Pieter Dixon, Julian Redelinghuys, Jandre Marais, Francois Kleinhans, Cobus Reinach, Marius Joubert, Rosko Specman.
Quotes from Sapa