Cape Town - The Sharks will not be benefiting from the services of Marcell Coetzee or Frans Steyn this Currie Cup season.
Both players were left out of Heyneke Meyer’s Springbok Rugby World Cup squad.
Coetzee picked up a knee injury at the worst possible time while a combination of injury, family bereavement and a lack of game time ended Steyn’s bid to make the 31-man squad.
But even though the pair will miss the World Cup, contractual obligations in Japan mean that they will not be turning out for the Sharks in the Currie Cup.
Coetzee is set to join Honda Heat while Steyn is contracted to Toshiba Brave Lupus, and Sharks coach Gary Gold is not expecting either of them to play in Durban before heading over to Asia.
Gold confirmed that Coetzee was in Durban recovering from his injury, but that as soon as he was fit he would travel to Japan.
“I think they’re (his Japanese commitments) going to rule him out, unfortunately. He’s still a good couple of weeks away from being fit to play so we’re having a look at that scenario at the moment,” said Gold.
“But it does look like if he’s committed to Japan that as soon as he’s fit he’s going to go back to Japan.
“How it works is basically, if you have a Japanese contract you have to be registered to play in Japan by July 31. The only way that you cannot play in Japan is if you’re playing international rugby.
“So for Frans, he would probably have to go back and join Toshiba now as soon as he’s ready. Marcell hasn’t gone because he has to go there and be fit and pass a fitness test so that’s the dilemma there. If Marcell was fit and he was left out, he would have to go to Japan.”
The Sharks take on the Pumas in a Currie Cup clash in Durban on Saturday (15:00 kick-off).
15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Wandile Mjekevu, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. S'bura Sithole, 10. Lionel Cronje, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Philip van der Walt, 7. Daniel du Preez, 6. Francois Kleinhans, 5. Marco Wentzel (captain), 4. Etienne Oosthuizen, 3. Gerhard Engelbrecht, 2. Monde Hadebe, 1. Dale Chadwick
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Thomas du Toit, 18. JC Astle, 19. Jean-Luc du Preez, 20. Stefan Ungerer, 21. Heimar Williams, 22. Garth April
15 John-Wessel Bell, 14 Bernado Botha, 13 Hoffmann Maritz, 12 Stefan Watermeyer (captain), 11 Rosko Speckman, 10 Juan-Claude Roos, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jason-Colin Fraser, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Jaco Bouwer, 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Rudi Mathee, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Jacques Momberg, 1 Corne Fourie.
Substitutes: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Khwezi Mona, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Justin van Staden, 22 Jerome Pretorius