Whitehead to face old teammates
The Sharks have stumbled on a bit of fortune in their ever-revolving midfield stocks, with Tim Whitehead returning to training this week just when he was most needed.
With Meyer Bosman doing well thus far in the Absa Currie Cup and proving a crucial point scoring factor with his place-kicking, there may not have been place for Whitehead, who has yet to play for the Sharks in the domestic competition, had he returned from injury last week. But with Paul Jordaan ruled out of Saturday’s coastal derby against Western Province, Whitehead’s return is perfectly timed.
Jordaan, the star under-21 centre who has provided some much needed X-factor to the Sharks on attack in the first half of the Currie Cup campaign, has been forced out because of the concussion he suffered playing against Griquas in Kimberley last week. Given how tough and bruising that game was, it is surprising more players haven’t been ruled out of contention for a game which has added spice because it is between two of the three teams locked together at the top of the log on 15 points.
Steve Sykes, who has just announced that he has signed to play for the Southern Kings for the next three years, is one player who has joined Jordaan in struggling with injury, and is unlikely to play against WP. He has injured ribs but will be available to the Sharks once recovered as he only links up with the Kings at the beginning of November.
The hard working Sharks lock is from Cradock and apparently his decision to move to Port Elizabeth was influenced by the prospect of being nearer to the family farm.
Jean Deysel hasn’t trained with the Sharks this week but coach John Plumtree says he will be ready to play WP, and his role could be important against a side that have lost Rynhardt Elstadt to injury. The absence of Province’s big blindside flank might just give the Sharks an edge if Deysel is indeed present.