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    Alberts boosts injury-hit Sharks

    2013-05-07 18:36

    Durban - Sharks flanker Willem Alberts has been summoned to the squad for the Australian leg of their Super Rugby tour and could feature against the Reds in Brisbane on Friday.

    His return will be a massive boost to coach John Plumtree, whose side has been beset by injuries this season with more than 10 senior players currently sidelined.

    "We just need to carry on with what we've got," Plumtree said on Tuesday.

    "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."

    Alberts has not featured in Super Rugby so far this season due to a shoulder injury, but he played for the Sharks XV in their last two Vodacom Cup matches.

    Further good news for the Sharks is that Bismarck du Plessis and Butch James are a matter of days away from match fitness. Both players have also missed the entire campaign due to knee problems.

    Tendai Mtawarira (calf), Francois Steyn (leg), Louis Ludik (shoulder), Paul Jordaan (knee), Tim Whitehead (hand), Craig Burden (cervical disc), Cobus Reinach (ankle), Jacques Botes (arm), Dale Chadwick (stress fracture), Allan Dell (knee) and Marius Joubert (hand) are all currently out of action.

    The Sharks have dropped to ninth on the overall log and third in the SA conference after losing their two tour matches in New Zealand over the past two weeks.

    They went down to defending champions the Chiefs 37-29 and also lost 25-22 to the Highlanders.

    "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," Plumtree said.

    "Despite the circumstances, finding ourselves faced with the number of injuries that we have incurred, we remain positive that we can do well in Australia."

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