Cape Town - The Sharks have been talking this season about their intentions to groom Thomas du Toit into tighthead, but he will be wearing the No. 1 jersey on Saturday against Western Province.
It is simply one of those things at the moment for the Sharks, and while their long term plans are still to develop Du Toit as a No. 3, his ability to play on both sides of the scrum means that from time to time that development will be halted.
“At the end of the day we’re going to clearly go round and about in this debate around Thomas,” Gold said this week.
“Our hand is forced … we need a person who can play on both sides and Thomas is that person.
“The plan was always to play him at loosehead and move him across to tighthead … and I think that has worked well. He deserves a start.”
Turning his attention to WP, Gold was full of praise for his opposition and made particular mention of the threats posed by the scrum and the back three of Cheslin Kolbe, Dillyn Leyds and Seabelo Senatla.
“I think a tremendous amount of them. They are a cohesive team, they’ve been together for a long while,” he said.
“With (Steven) Kitshoff back now we know we’re going to have a very tough day at scrum time.
“Under John they’ve gone a little bit away from their mauling game which asked some big questions in Super Rugby, but their broken field and attacking game is absolutely lethal.
“We’re going to have to be very precise with what we do this week. We can’t kick the ball away irresponsibly, because we’re going to be in trouble. We’re going to have look after the ball a lot better ourselves.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.
15. Odwa Ndungane, 14. Wandile Mjekevu, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. S'bura Sithole, 10. Joe Pietersen, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Philip van der Walt, 7. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Francois Kleinhans, 5. Marco Wentzel (captain), 4. Etienne Oosthuizen, 3. Gerhard Engelbrecht, 2. Monde Hadebe, 1. Thomas du Toit
Substitutes: 16. Franco Marais, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Dave McDuling, 19. Christiaan de Bruin, 20. Michael Claassens, 21. Heimar Williams, 22. Garth April
15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Dillyn Leyds, 13. Johnny Kotze, 12. Huw Jones, 11. Seabelo Senatla, 10. Kurt Coleman, 9. Nic Groom (captain), 8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Chris Cloete, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Wilco Louw, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Oli Kebble, 18. Chris van Zyl, 19. Jurie van Vuuren, 20. Jano Vermaak, 21. Robert du Preez, 22. Kobus van Wyk