Gavin Rich - SuperSport
Johannesburg - The Sharks have been bolstered by the arrival of Frederic Michalak
for the remainder of their Super Rugby campaign and their backline resources could be further boosted in the next couple of weeks.
Former Springbok star Marius Joubert is packing his life up in Clermont in preparation for his return to South Africa on Friday, and right now rugby is the last thing on his mind as he prepares to restart his life in South Africa. He will be flying to Cape Town, where he owns a property, and at the moment he only plans to move to Durban at the end of June to be ready to start with the Sharks in early July.
"My contract is from the beginning of July and at the moment I don't know of any plans to get me to play in the last rounds of Super Rugby nor do I really intend to play any more games before July," said Joubert.
"It has been a long season in France, the competition in France is tough, and I don't know if it would be clever of me to then go and try and play a few rounds of Super Rugby after such a long season. It would probably be better for both me and the Sharks if I had a bit of a break to recharge my batteries."
However, while mindful of Joubert's need to rest, Sharks coach John Plumtree says that he might find a way to manage Joubert so that he can still get his break and help the Sharks out of a hole should it be necessary.
"Marius is contracted from July and he does need a break but if we find we are in a situation where we need him in an emergency then maybe we can come up with a plan whereby he plays the last games of Super Rugby and then starts the Currie Cup late," said Plumtree.
"For instance at the moment Adi Jacobs is doubtful for the next match, so we might be in a bit of a pickle if we lose another centre. That is why we might need to talk to Marius. But at this stage nothing has decided, and I haven't spoken to Marius. We will let him get back to South Africa first and then see where we stand and where he stands."
Joubert has spent three successful seasons in France during which his team won the French championships once, played in two finals and a semi-final. He has been contracted for two and a half years, effectively meaning that he will be with the Sharks until the end of the 2013 Currie Cup season.
He last played in South Africa for the Cheetahs in 2007 before moving to France. Before that he played for the Stormers and Western Province after starting out with Boland and was part of the Springbok team that won the Tri-Nations in 2004.
His most memorable performance was in the big win over the All Blacks in Johannesburg in 2004, a day where he scored a hat-trick of tries.