Ireland vs Italy

Bismarck dismisses boardroom spat

Tue, 25 Jun 2013 12:53
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Bismarck du Plessis insists the boardroom issues at the Sharks are not a concern as the team prepare to resume their Super Rugby campaign.

Hooker Bismarck du Plessis insists the boardroom issues at the Sharks are not a concern as the team prepare to resume their Super Rugby campaign this week.

A lot has happened since the 10th-placed Durban franchise played their last game of the competition against the Bulls a month ago.

Former Springbok captain and close friend of Du Plessis, John Smit, was officially unveiled as the new CEO of the union.

Smit undertook his first big assignment as the new boss when he released current coach John Plumtree and replaced him with Brendan Venter in a Director of Rugby role.

"We are not involved in what's happening at the boardroom, we just want to focus on rugby, and play winning rugby," Du Plessis said on Tuesday.

Smit had been criticised for the move in some quarters, forcing the Sharks board to subsequently issue a statement outlining their full support for the former Bok captain.

Venter, who is a former national team player, will take over the hotseat when the Currie Cup begins in August, with former Sharks forward Brad MacLeod-Henderson set to take over as head coach.

"The Sharks have been under-performing this year and we want to rectify that," Du Plessis said.

The hooker has not played any part in the Sharks' decline this season, having missed the past 10 months after picking up a serious knee ligament injury against Argentina in Cape Town last year.

He has only just returned to action after undergoing surgery, playing 33 minutes off the bench for the Springboks against Scotland and Samoa during the Incoming Series over the past two weekends.

"It's been a long 10 months, a lonely road during those months where I learned a lot about myself," he explained.

"To be able to wear the black and white jersey of the Sharks hopefully this weekend is going to be a massive privilege for me.

"I wouldn't say I am exactly where I want to be, but I am close and getting to where I want to be, and where I was.

"That's a major focus for me, to just regain a spot in the Sharks 22 and push for the number two jersey. The future will look after itself from there."

The Sharks only have a slim chance of making the Super Rugby play-offs after an injury-ravaged campaign where they have lost seven times.

They must win all three remaining games, starting with the Blues on Saturday, then a trip to Pretoria next week and a final match-up against the Kings to have any chance of ending in the top six.

"I don't think people are giving us a chance of making the play-offs, but we're still in contention and no-one gave us a chance last year and we reached the final, so that gives us a lot of motivation for this weekend's game against the Blues," added Du Plessis.


Ireland vs Italy
sast: 17h45 | local: 19h45

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Sun, 04 October 2015
Zebre v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Tue, 06 October 2015
Canada v Romania 15h45 Leicester
Fiji v Uruguay 19h00 Milton Keynes
Wed, 07 October 2015
South Africa v United States 15h45 London
Namibia v Georgia 19h00 Exeter
Fri, 09 October 2015
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Golden Lions v Griquas 12h00 Ellis Park
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 14h05 Bloemfontein
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26