Plumtree opts for Dixon’s experience
Sharks coach John Plumtree has opted for former Western Province hooker Pieter Dixon’s experience as one of four changes for his team’s Absa Currie Cup clash with the Cape side in Durban on Saturday.
Dixon, coaxed out of retirement to answer a potential crisis at hooker when Craig Burden was summoned to the Springbok squad as a replacement for the injured Bismarck du Plessis, has been part of the Sharks match-day squad for a couple of weeks.
However, the match against the team he represented before heading to England nearly a decade ago is his first in the No 2 jersey, with Monde Hadebe being the man he displaces.
Another former WP player, Tim Whitehead, makes his expected return at outside centre for Paul Jordaan, who was left with concussion as a legacy of his reception from the hard Kimberley playing field last weekend.
Whitehead has yet to play for the Sharks in the Currie Cup as he has been out injured since playing the Super Rugby semifinal against the Stormers.
In another change, an unexpected one at that, Cobus Reinach is called in as a replacement for experienced scrumhalf Charl McLeod, who drops to the bench.
Plumtree probably feels safe with Reinach at No 9 against Province as he played well against them when the Sharks visited Cape Town for the first game of the competition.
Rosco Specman displaces S’bura Sithole on the left wing which may be a back-handed compliment from the Sharks for the deft kicking game that WP flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis is capable of producing.
THE SHARKS: Louis Ludik, Odwa Ndungane, Tim Whitehead, Meyer Bosman, Rosko Specman, Riaan Viljoen, Cobus Reinach, Keegan Daniel, Jean Deysel, Jacques Botes, Anton Bresler, Juandre Marais, Wiehahn Herbst, Pieter Dixon, Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: Monde Hadebe, Julian Redelinghuys, Peet Marais, Brynard Stander, Charl McLeod, Marius Joubert, S’bura Sithole.