Sharks sweat over injured duo
Gavin Rich - SuperSport
Johannesburg - Two of the international players in the Sharks' backline face fitness tests on Friday before they can be cleared to face the Cheetahs in Saturday’s key Currie Cup match at Mr Price Kings Park.
Former French flyhalf Frederic Michalak is battling with a slight hamstring injury sustained in the match against the Pumas in Nelspruit last weekend, while former Springbok outside centre Marius Joubert sustained an ankle injury.
Both players should be fit to play, but they have been bracketed with other players pending fitness tests. Joubert is bracketed with the experienced Stefan Terblanche, with Louis Ludik back as the specialist fullback. The way the team sheet issued by the Sharks reads, it looks like Joubert will be playing on the left wing if he is cleared, with Sibusiso Sithole then dropping to the bench.
Former Free Stater Jacques Louis Potgieter is bracketed at flyhalf with Michalak for the match against his old team-mates.
Keegan Daniel captains the side from No 8, and completes a useful loose trio which includes veteran Jacques Botes and the feisty young newcomer Marcell Coetzee, who is a product of the KZN school system and is being spoken of as a potential future star.
Craig Burden will be playing his 50th game and the hooker will carry a heavy responsibility onto the field with him as he is the experienced man in an inexperienced Sharks front-row as they come up against the highly rated Cheetahs scrum unit.
15. Louis Ludik, 14. Mark Richards, 13. Stefan Terblanche / Marius Joubert, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Sibusiso Sithole, 10. Frederic Michalak / Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Keegan Daniel (captain), 7. Marcell Coetzee, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Ross Skeate, 4. Anton Bresler, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Craig Burden, 1. Dale Chadwick
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper 17. Eugene van Staden 18. Jan Andre Marais 19. Francois Kleinhans 20. Jacobus Reinach 21. Heimar Williams / Jacques-Louis Potgieter 22. Gouws Prinsloo / Sibusiso Sithole
Free State Cheetahs:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Corne Uys, 12 Andries Strauss (captain), 11 Rayno Benjamin, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Johan Wessels, 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 WP Nel, 2 PW van Vuuren, 1 Marcel van der Merwe
Substitutes: 16 Michael van Vuuren, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Izak van der Westhuizen, 19 Pieter Myburgh, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Philip Snyman, 22 Philip Burger