Sharks to rest Springbok trio

    2015-03-24 14:43

    Durban - The Sharks' Springbok trio of Cobus Reinach, Marcell Coetzee and Pat Lambie are all expected to be rested for this weekend's Super Rugby showdown with the Force in line with the agreement with SA Rugby over player management.

    The three have earned the break after influential performances during the competition, and the good news that Frans Steyn was cleared to play means he may well take over the flyhalf position from Lambie, although the coaches may not want to break up his midfield partnership with JP Pietersen.

    If the pair remain at 12 and 13 respectively, either Fred Zeilinga or Lionel Cronje will step into the No 10 jersey after solid performances for the Sharks XV in the Vodacom Cup.

    “It’s a huge boost that we will have Frans available, it provides massive stability to the team, especially due to the changes we will have with the resting of the Springboks,” assistant coach Paul Anthony told Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick.

    “We have to rest Cobus, Marcell and Pat, we have to work in the greater picture of the national team. They allowed us to play them last weekend, so it’s our turn to reciprocate in a sense.”

    The loss of Lambie is a big one considering his contribution - both as a player and leader who took over the captaincy on Saturday.

    “Effectively, the two-week break will be good for him. He’s taking his rest week now which he thoroughly deserves because he’s been magnificent for us. We will miss him but we know the guys coming in will add value.”

    There is an energetic feel about the team after two wins, two invaluable victories that came at just the right time.

    “Going into that Cheetahs match, we put a mark on that game as the one where we really wanted to turn the ship around,” he explained. “We knew it would take massive character to do that, and we managed to come away with the win. We just want to keep evolving every week and really put in a massive effort over the next three weeks, and obviously targeting this Saturday to deliver a massive game.

    “With that character display behind us, if we can keep our discipline and mould that into a 15-man onslaught, that would be great. We really want to have a crack at it, but we know the Force will be hurting and just itching to come back after last weekend’s last-minute loss to the Bulls, so we will have to be mentally and physical prepared.”

    Talking mentally prepared, he said the team had already accepted that they would be without their Springboks at various times of the season. And now that time is here. Despite losing the rested Springboks, the team is ready for the challenge - without them.

    “We’ve prepared adequately because we knew they would have to be rested. We always had a rotation policy, so we were going to rest them anyway. Everyone in the squad is part of the package and they know they are all going to get a chance to play. We’ve planned for this, we’re ready. And we will be prepared for it in the future, because it’s going to happen again.”

    Saturday’s clash against the Force at Kings Park kicks off at 17:05.

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