Du Plessis selected into Sharks starting team
As anticipated, the Sharks have included all their big artillery in the starting team for Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup final against DHL Western Province at Newlands – and that includes tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis.
The Springbok was considered highly unlikely to play just a few days ago as he had a plaster cast on an injured hand, however Du Plessis took the cast off to get through a scrumming session on Wednesday.
A further assessment was to have been carried out on Thursday morning, and Du Plessis’ hand must have stood up to the scrutiny for he has been named in the team.
So will be his fellow Bok and brother Bismarck, who was doubtful earlier in the week because he had to face a disciplinary hearing after the alleged stamping incident that saw him yellow carded in last week’s semifinal.
And Beast Mtawarira, who missed the Cheetahs game because of injury, is also back to complete the same Bok front row that spearheaded the win in the 2010 final in Durban.
Willem Alberts will play his first Currie Cup game of the season after coming back from both injury and Springbok duty, and his presence on the side of the scrum will give the Durbanites a considerable boost.
Alberts’ inclusion ahead of the injured Jean Deysel is one of three changes to the side that won the semifinal, with the other two changes being the return of the senior Du Plessis brother and Mtawarira.
“WP have a quality and experienced pack that has been winning a lot of good ball, and some electrifying backs out wide,” said Sharks coach Brad Macleod-Henderson.
“But we’re worrying about them as a team rather than as individuals at the moment. We need to make sure that physically we will be up for it, and I am sure we will be,” he added.
THE SHARKS: 15.SP Marais, 14.Odwa Ndungane, 13.Louis Ludik, 12.Frans Steyn, 11.Lwazi Mvovo, 10.Pat Lambie, 9.Charl McLeod, 8.Keegan Daniel (captain), 7.Willem Alberts,6. Marcell Coetzee, 5.Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4.Peet Marais,3.Jannie du Plessis, 2.Bismarck du Plessis, 1.Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16.Kyle Cooper, 17.Wiehahn Herbst, 18.Stephan Lewies, 19.Jacques Botes, 20.Cobus Reinach, 21.Fred Zeilinga, 22.Heimar Williams.