The Sharks played an international-strength Jaguares side in Buenos Aires last night and while the Sharks may have lost, we can be just about sure that the Sharks have enough top quality players to either have beaten the Argentinians or run them close.
Let’s hope we have not tempted fate... But in all seriousness, the Sharks are brimming with Springbok quality players. Their coach certainly thinks so.
“This is a great team, I honestly believe it, and it will win the Super Rugby title if not this year, then in the near future,” Du Preez said before his team left for South America.
Tonight, Rassie Erasmus names a 39-man Springbok squad for the one-off friendly against Wales in Washington next week and the three-Test series against England.
He clearly wants to look at the greater pool of Springbok-quality players and then will trim the squad down to a more manageable group as the season progresses.
The following Sharks attended the final Bok alignment camp a few weeks ago:
Forwards: Tendai Mtawarira (prop), Coenie Oosthuizen (prop), Thomas du Toit (prop), Chiliboy Ralepelle (hooker), Akker van der Merwe (hooker), Jean-Luc du Preez (loose forward), Dan du Preez (loose forward).
Backs: Louis Schreuder (scrumhalf), Cameron Wright (scrumhalf), Robert du Preez (flyhalf), André Esterhuizen (centre), Lukhanyo Am (centre), Lwazi Mvovo (wing), Sbu Nkosi (wing), Curwin Bosch (fullback).
It is difficult to see which of the forwards will not make the cut besides the injured Oosthuizen.
He would have been at the camp to keep up to speed with what Rassie wants from the players but the loosehead obviously cannot be considered for selection seeing as he has not played since suffering a serious injury against Ireland at the start of the Boks’ ill-fated November tour.
Among the backs, one of the scrumhalves will probably drop out, most likely the uncapped Wright, and possibly the veteran, Mvovo.
If Erasmus has one eye on the future, he has to pick Bosch and Nkosi.
Am is certain to start at 13 and while most of the critics favour Damian de Allende of the Stormers to start at 12 in the run-on team, André Esterhuizen has been in such good form this season that there has to be a spot for him in the squad.
Robert du Preez is streets ahead of any other player in Super rugby when it come to “points scored” and the 24-year-old is surely third in the flyhalf pecking order behind favourite Handre Pollard and Elton Jantjies. That should get him into the squad.
All will be revealed tonight by the Bok coach but expect a good sprinkling of Sharks players in that squad.