at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Durban - Sharks centre Paul Jordaan has been ruled out of this week’s Currie Cup encounter against Western Province in Durban, the Durban rugby franchise announced on Tuesday.
Jordaan suffered a concussion when the Sharks were beaten by the Griquas at the weekend. He also has a facial injury.
Meanwhile, former Province player Tim Whitehead is expected to return after being out of action since missing the Super Rugby final on August 4 due to a broken hand.
“Paul won’t be fit, but on the positive front we’ve got a few players who will return in the next couple of weeks,” Sharks assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards said on Tuesday.
“But we’re hoping Tim Whitehead will be available this week, and if that happens, it’s a case of lose one player and get one back, which is fantastic from that point of view.
“Pieter-Steph du Toit is two or three weeks off, and Kyle Cooper is a couple of weeks off, so the guys are slowly returning.
“We’ve got a very small squad for the Currie Cup, which is around 26, so when you pick up injuries you don’t have a lot to work with, especially if the players are from the same position.”
John Plumtree’s men are still licking their wounds after stumbling to their second loss of the campaign when they were beaten 22-15 in Kimberley.
“We’re really disappointed with what happened, because we had targeted maximum points from the last two games,” Reece-Edwards said.
“We beat the Cheetahs, but then fell short against Griquas.
“Nonetheless, we got one point in that last game, not what we wanted, but it certainly hasn’t taken us out of the running.”
The Sharks number two said he expected Griquas, now off the bottom of the log, not to lose too many games at the GWK Stadium during the season.
“They know what is at stake with that bottom side having to play in a promotion-relegation play-off. I think they’re going to use that as their fortress.”
The coastal side have three wins from five at the halfway stage and sit joint-top of the table with the Lions and Province, who they play on Saturday.
Reece-Edwards said he felt the next five matches would be similar to the closing stages of their Super Rugby campaign.
“When we had the Super 15 games, we said the last five games we need to do something special and we’re in that same situation now.
“Although we’re not in the same position, we are amongst three sides on top and there are a lot of sides vying for the play-offs still.”
The Sharks beat their Cape rivals in the first round and also trumped them in the Super Rugby semi-final a few weeks earlier.
“We’re expecting a massive challenge, it’s going to be the old two foes, so it’s going to be a war.” - Sapa