Durban - The Sharks are more than happy to have a bye week which gives their Springbok players some much needed time off to recover after a gruelling Test series against England.
The Sharks and Bulls conceded the most players to the Springboks for the three-Test series, which South Africa won 2-0.
The Bulls play the Cheetahs in Pretoria on Saturday and have included nine of their Springboks who were in the Bok match-day 22 in Port Elizabeth last week. They play the Sharks at Kings Park next week and by then the men from Durban would have had a fortnight's time to recover - a prospect the Durbanites is relishing ahead of a game which could decide both teams' Super Rugby fate in 2012.
Therefore the Sharks have given their Springbok players the week off to recuperate before they start preparing for the Bulls clash.
“It’s a first having Test matches in the middle of the tournament, but certainly for a lot of players, having a break is fantastic,” Sharks assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards told the Sharks website
editor Michael Marnewick
“For the Sharks and Bulls with quite a few representative players, it will be interesting to see what effects - if any - there are. Nobody knows because this (a three-week Test window break) has never happened before, but in our favour is the fact that with our bye, our Boks get a full week off and have a break because they haven’t stopped since the last Super Rugby game.
“This week has been a really heavy week for those guys with us, they have the second half of the week off and everyone will regroup here next Monday to prepare for the Bulls game.”
The Sharks are currently seventh on the overall log
with 45 points after 14 games, while the Bulls are fifth with 49 points after 13 games. However, the men from Durban will finish the weekend on 49 points courtesy of their bye week.
Their non-Springbok squad members were hard at work in the three-week Test window though. They had individual and collective programmes to stick to and also the John Smit
“Our players had to get two games in during the break, so the majority played against Barney
’s Army which we wanted, and were also told they needed to play a second game which, in most cases, was a club game.”