Bok artillery returning for Sharks
Bok artillery returning for SharksSHARE
The Sharks will gain some much-needed relief from their injury curse in the next fortnight with the return of a handful of their Springbok stars.
The Sharks have had a torrid time this season with injuries and this week they added another couple of players to their forever expanding pool of injured players.
This week, though, has seen the return of Willem Alberts into the mix, with Bok stalwarts Bismarck du Plessis and Butch James set to be available for selection next week.
These two players have been sidelined for extended periods of time and having their direct and in-you-face type of game can only benefit this crocked Sharks outfit.
The return of Du Plessis will be the biggest bonus for the Sharks when they head to Perth next week because they have become wafer-thin in the hooker department as Craig Burden has had to return home with a pinched nerve.
James will help in providing cover at centre after the Sharks lost Paul Jordaan and Francois Steyn to season-ending injuries within a week of each other. Tim Whitehead is still yet to return from the broken arm he picked up in one of the warm-up games and is still out for another four weeks.
The return of an abrasive player like Alberts is something that the Sharks have missed this season and he will provide them with meaty carries and career-compromising tackles.
John Plumtree is aware that the 'Bone Collector' is returning to the squad but he understands that Alberts is going to need time to settle and it is vital that the other players do the job in the meantime.
"We just need to carry on with what we’ve got. We haven’t given up and that’s an important message from the team.
"We want to show we are committed, that we hold hope and hopefully our actions on the field will show that," Plumtree said.
Tendai Mtawarira still has three weeks in rehabilitation until he returns from a calf muscle tear. Fullback Louis Ludik is another player that still has four weeks on the sideline until he returns for the Sharks.
The in form and tenacious scrumhalf Cobus Reinach has another six weeks until he has recovered from ankle ligament strain.
In the face of these set-backs Plumtree still feels that the side is fighting as hard as they can and they can still get something out of their tour.
"It was evident that the team were playing and working hard for each other on the field, unfortunately the end result did not go our way.
"Despite the circumstances we find ourselves facing with the number of injuries that we have incurred, we remain positive that we can do well in Australia," Plumtree added.