Rugby | Covid-hit Sharks to field depleted side against Pumas

Sharks coach Sean Everitt. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

As a result of the recent Covid-19 outbreak within the team, the Sharks will be missing a lot of first-choice players when they host the Pumas in the Currie Cup this weekend.

The Sharks are missing as many as 10 players who have been sidelined with Covid-19, or are in isolation because of contact with infected players, ahead of their Currie Cup opener in Durban on Friday night.

They did at least receive some good news this week after Springbok prop Thomas du Toit was declared fit again, but Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee knows they will still be up against this weekend.

“We were able to get the squad tested on Sunday and while we have no new cases, we are still without the 10 players from last week,” Coetzee said. “Sometimes you can take all possible precautions but nothing is full proof.

“You will see when the team is announced that we are heavily hit in the front row and at loose forward, but we will have to make a plan and carry on. We must play. We can’t afford to lose more points on the log.”

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak amongst the Sharks players, last weekend’s clash with the Stormers was called off and both teams received two points instead. It not only allowed the Bulls to beat the Pumas on Saturday and clinch the Super Rugby Unlocked crown, but it also allowed Jake White’s side to stretch their lead at the top of the table, as Super Rugby log points are carried forward into the Currie Cup competition.

Weakened side or now, Coetzee said the show must go on for the Sharks.

“We have no reason not to play,” he said. “Our side will be re-jigged and that means opportunities for the guys who have been on the fringes.”

Kick-off at Kings Park is at 19:00 on Friday.

– TEAMtalk media

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